Gary Note Spring 2018

My goodness, winter has hung on this year. However in the end, even a prolonged winter can’t hold spring back, and this has been a very interesting spring in cottage country real estate!


Before I say too much, I do want to thank all of our 2017 clients.  The Phillips Team had anther fantastic year in 2017, and it was all due to the wonderful people that we were privileged to work for.  It really is a privilege to do what we do; help people realize their dreams, and navigate their way through the often emotional waters of cottage country real estate. We totally get it and we are thankful for your loyalty and trust. Your business truly is our business!

In cottage country the listings were down in 2017, and in 2018 the listings are significantly down. Are the Sellers still hunkered down because of the weather?  Or, could this be a new reality? Mark Twain coined a phrase decades ago, “They’re not making anymore ofit.”  He was right, especially when it comes to waterfront. Waterfront properties in cottage country are becoming more and more precious all of the time. And in my opinion, rightfully so!

It seems to me that some Realtors are challenged to develop a language for what the spring market is presenting us with. I hope that Sellers really take time to evaluate what real estate professionals are saying to them, talking to them about, and how they are able to articulate the changing tides of the real estate market place.  It is important.  Your Realtor needs to be able to speak about the economic, financial and business climate that we are experiencing and relate it to the cottage country market.

We know that there has been a change in the GTA market, and we are monitoring and evaluating the market very closely. The media is referring to the market change in the GTA as a housing “crash.” Taking a look at the “crash” from a long view, it seems to me that this is quite misleading. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the average price of a single residential detached home in March 2015 was $787,000.   Two years later, the average price for the same product was $1,214,000. That’s a 54% increase. And remember, there were no inflationary indexes that rose above minor single digits. Fast forward to March 2018, and that same product, according to TREB, was $1,005,000. This still represents a 28% increase since March 2015.  Not a bad return, considering the Ontario investment climate these days.

All that being said, there are enthusiastic Buyers in the market and they are really evaluating their limited buying options. They are somewhat deflated with their available choices, and new financing legislation is certainly affecting their options.  So, will there be some Buyers who disappear because of this “price correction?” Of course,  but they will be back after they have had time to right their own financial ships. As for most of the Buyers that we work with, they were and still are well prepared to purchase in cottage country.

Knowing how to navigate the changing market and represent client’s real estate interests in a professional and competent manner is of the utmost importance, in my opinion.  It’s not a popularity contest, your real estate is serious business. Remember, your Realtor is not only representing your interests in advertising and marketing, s/he has certain legal mandated  fiduciary duties under agency law. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what this means for you, and how your Realtor will be acting in your best interests in terms of possessing real business savvy and a realistic plan to buy or sell property. Feel free to give me a call to unpack this further!


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