Orangeville housing market still strong says local realtor

July 20, 2017   ·   0 Comments

THE CANADIAN REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION this week announced that home sales in June declined to a seven-year low, down 11.4 percent from this time last year. An Orangeville realtor says the drop off is a direct result of the provincial government announcing earlier this year that they would be taking measures to try and slow down the market in Toronto.

By Mike Pickford

While a much-documented drop in the national housing market in recent months has left potential investors across the province in a frenzy, one local realtor has poured cold water on the suggestion the proverbial bubble could be set to burst in Orangeville.

The Canadian Real Estate Association this week announced that home sales in June declined to a seven-year low, down 6.7 percent from May and down 11.4 percent from June of 2016. The response has been drastic – some ‘big media’ sources have gone so far as to claim we’re now in the midst of a nationwide buyers’ market.

It is the third straight monthly slide in national home sales and, while the effect has certainly been felt here in Orangeville, John Walkinshaw of Royal LePage RCR Realty doesn’t believe people should read too much into the eye-opening statistics.

Instead, he thinks the slowdown is a direct, artificial result of the provincial government’s announcement in April that it would be taking measures to try and slow down Toronto’s red-hot real estate market. Premier Kathleen Wynne introduced 16 “big changes” in May aimed to reform Ontario’s housing and rental markets, the most noteworthy of which included a new 15 percent tax for overseas investors looking to purchase property.

“I think this drop is a reaction to that announcement. I think that has spooked people into inactivity, waiting to see what actually happens, waiting to see if drops (in value) are coming,” Mr. Walkinshaw said.

And while prices appear to be down pretty much across the board – the $504,458 average sale price in June is a near ten percent drop from the $559,317 average price posted in April – values appear to be going only one way in Orangeville. That’s fairly indicative of the unique market in Orangeville and Dufferin County, says Mr. Walkinshaw. He did however offer some hope to those in the community looking to invest or finally purchase their first home.

“I would say that the market here is stabilizing right now in the respect that the hype is no longer in the market. It’s still a very active and a very solid market, but the hype, in my opinion has gone. The days of people paying ridiculous amounts of money over value, getting into bidding wars with other interested parties, has come and gone for the most part,” Mr. Walkinshaw said.

He added, “There is a benefit to buyers out there right now. While prices continue to grow at a healthy rate, there are deals to be had at the moment. Buyers do have a bit of an upper hand at the moment psychologically because homes are tending to stay on the market a little longer than usual. Some sellers are very intentional about getting a deal done quickly, so there are some good opportunities floating around right now.”

According to statistics posted by the Toronto Real Estate Board there were 99 active listings in Orangeville in June of this year, up a whopping 90 percent from the 52 listings posted in June of 2016. The number of sales has dropped by more than 27 percent in town over that 12-month period, down from 84 in June 2016 to 61 in June 2017. Statistics say homes stayed on the market three days longer this year when compared to last year, while the average June sale price in Orangeville has grown almost 10 percent – up to $505,931 from $460,173.

From January 1 to June 30 of this year there were 385 home sales in Orangeville, with properties remaining on the market for an average of 12 days. The average sale price has climbed up to $541,112 – up 23 percent from the first half of 2016.

In Dufferin County the number of active listings between June 2016 and June 2017 saw a massive increase of 63 percent, up to 182 listings from 112 the year before. Sales dropped by 44 percent, while the average sale price climbed from $606,349 to $679,056. Comparing year-to-year stats between Jan. 1 to June 30 of 2017 and the same period in 2016, the average price has ballooned 23 percent, up to $676,887 from $549,614.

These statistics lead Mr. Walkinshaw to but one conclusion. “The market is healthy right now. I don’t see any signs personally that some big bubble is going to burst. There’s still a pretty limited supply of homes when you compare it (99) to the town’s population (30,700) and there are buyers looking for that inventory,” Mr. Walkinshaw said. “The buzz in several Orangeville real estate offices is that July has already seen a significant increase in activity. “

He added, “The Canadian dream has always been to own real estate. I think that has led to more listings on the market where people are trying to take advantage of the higher value, while the longer days on the market have come about because people have held off, waiting to see what happens, probably because of the government announcement. We haven’t seen that kind of patience in Orangeville for a long time.”

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