Have Home Sales Really Been Dropping? An Inside Look at House Price Statistics For South Georgian Bay Area.

A “Sign” not often seen: Are home prices really dropping in South Georgian Bay?

You may have heard the consistent word-on-the-street report that the housing market (at large) is declining, and home sales are down. This begs the question: Is there any evidence to support this claim?

Let’s look at House price statistics, in fact, prices actually haven’t been been dropping – especially not to the levels that first-time home buyers (eager to take advantage of the Canadian Federal Government’s “Home Buyers Plan”) might hope. Rather, home prices have stayed relatively stable, and even increased. Sure, there has been the usual winter month slow-down in sales, but that is typical of these months in Canada. While sales follow their usual winter slow down, prices seem to support themselves relatively sustainably.

While March 2019 CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) reports show that there has been a decrease of 0.8% in the South Georgian Bay area (a decrease of only 2 total sales in this month compared to a year before); it would not be wise to simply take this single month of fractional sales “dropping” less than a percentage point to be proof enough that the market itself is dropping. It even demands further investigation of South Georgian Bay home sales.

Drawing only from a slightly different data pool, in the year-to-date (January through March), it is evident that home sales have actually increased compared to the same quarter in the previous year. With CREA reports noting that 536 units were sold between January and March of this year, South Georgian Bay has actually seen an increase of 2.3% (12 sales) compared to 2018 in these months.

Housing prices were also up over the entire South Georgian Bay area, seeing increases of the average home price up to $517,693, which is a 10.1% increase from the previous year, 2018, prices.

Some of the highlighted home sales numbers for South Georgian Bay:

  • Within the month of March comparing 2018 and 2019 sales numbers: In the Eastern region home sales are up 16% (13 home units) while in the Western region home sales are down 9.3% (15 sales).
  • While sales in the Western region declined by 15 sales year-to-year in the month of March, the average housing cost increased by 7.2% in the same comparative time period and up 11% in the year-to-date numbers (from $517,693/unit in March 2018 to $520,243/unit in March 2019).
  • Home sales in the Eastern region were increased, and the average cost/unit increased by a sober 1.8% in March 2019, compared to March in the previous year, and the year-to-date average cost/unit increased 1.7% ($467,646/unit).
  • The South Georgian Bay area saw an increase in new residential listings of 486, a 4.1% increase from the previous year.

So, it appears there is no hard, long-term, evidence to-date to ensure that any street level concern with home sales slowing is available. While there is, at the moment, a small sample size where the numbers are showing a 2 sale decrease in the month of March from one year to the next in South Georgian Bay area, it is hardly enough evidence to direct home owners and buyers to an overall confirmation.

It may be valuable to consider somewhat longer windows of evidence, and while doing so to also take note of a variety of factors and indicators that differ from one region to another within the same geographical area that is being analyzed. In South Georgian Bay it might be worth close examination over the next few months in order to decipher any certain indicators as to what is happening in home sale numbers – particularly as these numbers might unpack differently between the Eastern and Western Region of the Bay area.