Halfway through the year and Barrie’s real estate market is still on track to set a new annual record in 2016, said Mike Douglas, President of the Barrie and District Association of REALTORS. This year is the first time in history where we have seen this kind of growth in such a short period of time in Barrie.
Buying property is more than just putting in an offer and negotiating with the seller on price. Now buyers and their agent have to come up with unique strategies in order to win the bid against other competing buyers. This means offering a higher price than the seller is asking, possibly dropping conditions and giving a higher deposit, all to show the seller how serious you are about their home.
Sellers and their listing agent have also had to adapt to this new type of real estate market. With properties selling only a couple days after list, sellers have had to come up with better strategies in order to get the highest price possible in a very short period of time. This means that their agent has had to completely change their marketing plan and start advertizing before the property goes live on the Multiple Listing Service.
I have heard many times over from agents, buyers and sellers that this type of market is going to be short lived and that there will be a bubble (or market correction) for Barrie real estate. Unfortunately that does not make economic sense. The formal definition of a ‘bubble’ is three consecutive years of double digit price increases, where Barrie has only experienced 6 months in the freehold market. If anything we will see prices level off as supply and demand approach equilibrium.
What does this mean for the condo market? The rise in housing prices has put upward pressure on condo prices as many people are turning to condos because they are the next affordable option. Also, residents from the city are cashing out and moving north and wanting to live downtown by the waterfront as they prefer the convenience of what the condo lifestyle has to offer.
As prices in Toronto and the GTA continue to rise, people will move to where property is most affordable. Barrie is a growing city with many desirable attributes and local residents are able to access the GTA by major highways and the GO Train and are a short drive to cottage country. We will continue to see prices increase in Barrie and the surrounding area for the remainder of 2016 but seasonal changes will be more defined. Expect the pace to slow down over the summer, for both the residential freehold and condo sectors, but there will be a strong fall real estate market to follow.
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