Housing market activity continues to trend well below typical levels for the month of September as higher interest rates continue to erode affordability.
On the flipside, the overall inventory of homes on the market are well up from their rock bottom levels seen earlier in the year, which is good news for anyone looking to purchase or for those who have been waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to enter the housing market.
The kids are back at school and summer is winding down, so how’s the market looking? The anticipated, yearly slow down of the market was in effect during August. As people try to make the most of the end of summer, prepare for kids returning to school and with more interest hikes, we saw a year over year decrease in sale prices for Barrie of 5%. However, year to date the average sale price has risen more than 20% to $970,175.
A huge increase in active listings of more than 200% compared to 2021 has seen buyers have many options that were lacking in the earlier parts of the year. Sellers are still holding out for the prices they saw in early 2022 but taking the Bank Of Canada interest rate increases into consideration, we’re seeing a slowing down of the market. With more interest hikes in the pipeline, it’s still a great time to find that dream home.
Home sales have declined sharply since February of this year, due almost entirely to a rapid set of steep interest rate increases that have brought mortgage rates up from historical lows. There’s going to be a lot of adjustment on both sides of the market over the remainder of the year as all participants revise their expectations – buyers on what they can afford and sellers on price expectations. We’ve still got a few more rate hikes expected before year end, so we anticipate the market to continue rebalancing as supply outpaces demand for the time being.
Although the average sale price went up, home sales continued to decline in June, with activity remaining slightly below what would be considered typical levels for this month. The market has been turned on its head – less than six months ago we were facing some of the tightest conditions in history, with demand outpacing supply by an extraordinary margin, and now those trends are beginning to reverse. In addition to sales dropping below average levels, new listings returned to the market at the fastest rate for any June in history. The current level of available listings on the market also popped up above 1,000 for the first time since October 2019.
Recent interest rate increases have taken a bite out of demand, with more moderation expected in the face of the most recent and sizeable hike at the beginning of June. Our market is very well supplied at the moment, with the highest number of new listings in any May in history bringing some much-needed relief to the supply side and restoring balance to the market. With conditions finally appearing to move out of the unprecedented tightness of the past two years and available listings on the market rising from historical lows we might begin seeing previously sidelined buyers return to the market.
Sales activity declined from last year’s astronomical record to the lower end of the average range for this time of year. New listings, on the other hand, posted a record showing for the month of April. With sales down and new listings up this meant that some much-needed supply flowed back into the market. If sales activity remains subdued compared to the red-hot activity of the past two years in the face of more interest rate increases on the horizon, we will likely see a rebalancing of the market over the remainder of the year to a point where potential buyers can finally see a more normal availability of listings from which to choose.
Home sales were down considerably from last year’s unprecedented March record but still came in well above typical levels for this time of year. A substantial influx of new supply was a very welcome sight in March. Overall inventories had previously dropped to the lowest levels on record with little relief in sight, and although the market is still experiencing some of the tightest conditions in history at least we have a bit more breathing room. The resurgence of supply may be an early start to the spring market, so we’ll see how much more of this comes to market and to what extent buyer appetites absorb this new inventory.
Sadly, across Ontario and even our communities, Rental scams are becoming more and more common place. We’ve put together some information that will help you understand how the scam works and what to look out for.
If you’re on the hunt for a new rental home, you now need to be vigilant about a new type of rental scam proliferating online. Fraudsters are finding new ways to trick would-be tenants into falling for phony online ads. This scam can bilk prospective tenants out of money and time, plus cause undue stress to owners of the properties being listed fraudulently.
How The Scam Works
Basically, these rent scammers are taking photos of properties that are already online, on housing sites like MLS or realtor.ca, and using those photos to create fake rentals ad. They usually offer the rental well below market rates to attract interest, making it one of those “too good to be true” scenarios.
When curious tenants start inquiring about the ad, the fraudsters will likely give suspicious reasons why they can’t meet you in person. For example, they are “out-of-town” and unable to show you the vacancy. The fraudsters will then ask you to send them a security deposit or the first month’s rent via wire transfer. They might even pressure you by saying other applicants are interested in the property. Sometimes the scammers will entice you with a discount if you send more than the first month’s rent.
The money requests are usually to be transferred via MoneyGram, Western Union or even a gift card. But once you send that money out of the country – say goodbye because it will be virtually impossible to get back.
Rent scams on the rise
According to a 2020 report, an Ontario man had his home unknowingly put online by rent scammers using photos of his property, which was in the process of being for sale. Would-be tenants began knocking on his door asking about the property and one even said they already sent a $1,000 deposit.
It’s all part of a disturbing trend of rental scams taking advantage of tenants looking for a home. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that Canadians have lost $1.4 million in the last three years to these online rental scams. The Better Business Bureau claims that 50% of those looking for a rental home will likely encounter these types of online scams on sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook.
5 red flags of a rental scam
The first red flag to watch for is the price. If this is a nice property, way below the market rate, it could be a scam. Of course, it could be a great deal too, but make sure you should investigate it thoroughly.
The “owners” of the property say they are out of the country, or out of town. Remember: it’s highly unlikely a landlord would list a rental and then leave town.
If the listing’s photos are vague, and only show the outside of the property, it could be a scam. A good landlord will post quality images of the inside and outside. And if you see a “for sale” sign in the photo, you should probably avoid it.
Any requests for security deposits or first-month instalment, without a formal rental agreement, should be met with deep skepticism, especially if it’s through a wire transfer like MoneyGram or Western Union going outside the country. Gift cards are another major red flag.
If the alleged owner wants to communicate with you outside the rental platform or direct you to a website asking for personal or financial information, then you should turn and run away (virtually).
How to stay safe from rental scammers
Searching for a rental home can be challenging on its own without having to deal with scam artists trying to steal your money. Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from these online vultures.
Research the property in-person, if possible, and insist on meeting the landlord at the address. Take the time to visit the rental listing and see if it’s accurate and truthful to its online ad. If you cannot see it in person, ask a friend or family to view it for you.
Double-check the address isn’t being used elsewhere online. Google search the address to see if it’s been used in a duplicate post, or reverse image search the photo.
Request a lease or contract before you consider sending a deposit. Review it thoroughly and make sure it is legitimate.
Know your rights as a tenant. The Government of Canada provides information on the rental process and which provincial housing ministries you should be aware of. Also, you should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), the RCMP or your local police if you have information about this type of online rental scam.
Of course the safest way to find your next rental property is to contact a For Sale In Barrie agent who will be with you every step of the way!
It’s been two years since the pandemic started, and many of us are still working remotely from our homes, whether it’s out of our makeshift office in the kitchen, living room, or whatever space is conducive to productivity. As we continue to navigate forward this year, be sure to carve some time out of your busy schedule to find ways to enhance and elevate your home. Lucky for you, we curated a list of the hottest interior design trends that will not only give your space a much-needed makeover but also restore a sense of hope and optimism about what lies ahead in 2022.
Remember: There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to embellishing your space, so use the following trends as inspiration, not prescription. If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, speak with your For Sale In Barrie agent to find out how you can leverage these trends to appeal to home buyers.
50 Shades Of Green
Green represents new beginnings and growth, so there’s no better colour to herald the upcoming spring season. To create an uplifting and revitalising environment, you could use a pop of jewel-toned greens. Whether it’s adding a plush velvet green couch to your living room or adorning your dining room with a jade vase, your options to bring nature indoors through furniture and decorative pieces have never been easier. Before you know it, your home will become the ultimate destination for relaxation and restoration among friends and family.
What’s old is new and what’s new is old. Antiques and vintage items pay homage to the past and add extra personality and eclectic style to your home. They also preserve the memories of those who once had the great fortune of owning beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces to embellish their space. To add some retro charm to your home, bring out your grandmother’s antique floral porcelain vase and place it in the centre of your dining table. Or add some brilliance to your living room with an art-deco table lamp. No matter what era you’re partial to, there’s a piece of furniture or accessory that will help you create an entirely new look.
Stay Ahead Of The Curve
Whereas straight lines and sharp edges lend a sleek, modern feel, rounded shapes add softness to an interior space, giving it a warm ambiance. Going beyond circles, rounded shapes also include egg shapes, ovals, arches, and more. If your space looks too much like a geometry worksheet, try breaking up the harsh edges by adding a curved swivel chair or coffee table in your living room. Or add some oomph in your hallway with a beautiful, oval-shaped mirror to reflect a sense of freshness and relaxation that can’t be seen with a traditional square or rectangle mirror.
Bright And Colourful Kitchens
Last year, neutral palettes reigned supreme in the realm of home decor. While this trend will remain popular for the foreseeable future, it’s time to break out of the tried-and-true colour scheme and embrace bold, vibrant colours. Liven up your kitchen with a splash of colour; whether it’s painting your walls a beautiful, seafoam green or experimenting with geometric prints and patterns, add some joie de vivre to the space. After all, your kitchen should inspire you to experiment with different recipes and come up with culinary masterpieces that rival those of your favourite Michelin star chef.
Little Black Accents
There’s nothing quite like black accents to add a touch of sophistication and beautiful contrast to your home. This is especially true if your home is alight with natural wood tones or other organic materials. The same sentiment can be extended if you prefer a more minimalist space. Look around your house to see where you can incorporate some edge. Could your white sofa use a small, black side table to accentuate your living room’s best features? Or perhaps you can add a couple of black throw pillows to make your sofa the room’s centrepiece. No matter how you want to incorporate this timeless colour into your home, know that a little goes a long way.
Illuminate With Style
Equal parts function and fashion, statement lamps are making a comeback this year and they’re poised for a bright future. Coming in all shapes, sizes, and colours, decorative lamps can put a spotlight on different areas of your home (especially rooms that don’t get a lot of natural light). On the quest for a stunning architectural piece? Try perching a sculptural-metal table lamp on your coffee table. If you’re looking for something more subtle yet still striking, a Grecian-bust table lamp on your nightstand might just be the inspiration you need to fulfil your New Year’s resolution to read 30 pages of a novel every night before bedtime.
Tell us what’s worked in your home, we’d love to know!
This month’s data showed an overall year-over-year decrease in the number of units sold, a decrease in new listings, and a large increase in average sale price. The price of residential units sold continued to rise, now sitting at $963,554 which is a 36% rise compared to last year. This evidences that, the supply of homes still cannot keep pace with the demand right now.
Active residential listings numbered 135 units on the market at the end of February, a huge drop of 65% from the end of February 2021.
As prices rise and the theme of low inventory continues, now is the time to take advantage of the market and achieve maximum price for your property. As more interest rate hikes loom on the horizon now is a great time to sell your property.
Trust your local experts to guide you through the process and take advantage of the current market.
All data correct as of March 10, 2022, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on February 2021 vs February 2022.