The question I am most often asked is
”Krista, what’s the real estate market like in the City of Barrie and the surrounding area right now? Is it a good time to list? Is it a good time to sell?”
At a glance, the Barrie real estate listings resale market is remaining moderate in 2011 and will probably do the same in early 2012. A robust market was evident in 2010 and to some extent, in the first half of 2011 and was largely driven by factors such as the expanding economy, flat mortgage rates and first time buyers entering in large numbers. By the end of the next quarter, and into 2012, we should see sales plateau as consumers exercise more caution given slower job growth and uncertainty in the global economy. On a quarterly trend basis, existing will be flat in the rest of 2011 and overall annual sales will probably come in just under the five percent mark from 2010 levels.
Next year, enticed by continuing low mortgage rates, more modest price gains, and hopefully a better employment rate, we should see some moderate growth heading into the spring and summer.
This year, we have also seen the new home demand in Barrie real estate listings shift more towards a “higher density” construction, that is, more condos and apartments. As available raw land becomes scarce for new home builders, and the age demographic in the City changes, single, detached residential building has declined this year. New home starts last year were 442 units compared to 300 units this year but multi-residential units have soared with only 103 units last year compared to 357 units this year so far!**
I’m sure you have seen the ads for the new “Lakeview” condominium project to be constructed in the downtown core, next to City Hall and “The West” condominium/boutique hotel development at the site of the former Lakeview Dairy. These projects will bring much needed construction jobs with spin offs to our local trades and suppliers, as well as a major factor in the downtown Barrie revitalization plan.