Covid-19 has touched all of our lives in some way. This past year we have had to adjust to new rules, separation from family and friends, and disrupted daily schedules as work and school demands have changed. Some carry a heavier burden, having contracted the virus or having lost loved ones. It’s been a trying year.
The real estate market has been impacted as well – its effects felt in every market across Canada. To quote The Globe and Mail, “In general, home prices have spiked in resort towns, cottage country and tourist areas across most of Canada, as the pandemic’s work from home trend pushes buyers to escape the city for nature and more space.”
Furthermore, according to Professor John Andrew, Director of the Queen’s Real Estate Roundtable, the work from home trend will become entrenched because employers are realizing how much money they can save by downsizing their workplace real estate: “I think that is really going to have profound implications for peoples’ choices in where they live.”
One of the most remarkable statistics is how many homes are for sale in Southern Georgian Bay (its territory highlighted below). There were 216 homes for sale in December 2020, down drastically from the 711 homes in December 2019. In the same month in 2018, there were 661.
Homes are selling faster as well. On average, homes in Southern Georgian Bay are currently selling in 18 days versus 49 days a year ago. With fewer homes and a quicker sales timeframe, a buyer needs to be well prepared. When a property is listed, you must be notified quickly and be ready to act.
My January 2021 Real Estate Survey Results
I recently conducted a survey, asking my newsletter subscribers what their real estate plans were for 2021. 11.9% indicated that Covid-19 had made them want to move out of the city. Furthermore, 26.9% are thinking of buying a seasonal or recreational property. Of the 53.8% who said they are planning to stay in their current property, 18.8% want to purchase real estate for investment purposes.
Interestingly for those thinking of moving, two-thirds want to be in a smaller city or town within a two-hour drive of Toronto, while the other one-third wish to be in cottage country. Some of the towns respondents showed interest in were: Collingwood, Thornbury, Creemore, The Blue Mountains, Stayner, Parry Sound, and Meaford.
Should You Buy in Southern Georgian Bay Now?
The question is whether the trend will continue and if the right time to buy in Southern Georgian Bay is now. In my view, you should start looking – there is still great real estate to be found, and on average, listings are selling just below the asking price. It’s worth remembering that people who are listing their houses right now are anxious to sell as they may consider this a ‘high point’.
My guess is we have room to run from here, and that property in Southern Georgian Bay will continue to be in high demand. Some creativity combined with a dedicated agent who searches daily on your behalf, knows the regions, and thinks outside the box can give you the edge.
About the Author
Craig Rennick is a Sales Representative of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage, and a member of the Toyne Team. He lives in Collingwood and recently renovated their family cottage on Good Cheer Island in the Sans Souci area of Georgian Bay.