As a mid-sized city in Ontario, Barrie offers various property types for buyers. From big, detached houses to small condominium units, the housing options you can buy in Barrie are appealing to many. This city grew in popularity after the pandemic hit and many Toronto dwellers fled the province’s capital in favour of a smaller, more affordable area.
If you’re considering buying a property in Barrie, there’s a lot to consider before making the move. While this city has several draws, its housing market has also experienced a rollercoaster ride over the last year. Here’s a review of the property types you might find in Barrie, what’s happening in the housing market, and what you should consider as a buyer.
Before we get too far into updates on the market, let’s review the main property types. Detached houses are what comes to mind when most people think of a home. These are freestanding houses where you own the home itself and any surrounding lawn or property. Townhomes are homes set in a line, all attached to one another. This means you share at least one wall with a neighbour. You still have your own space and a small property, but the areas are smaller and closer together. Duplexes and triplexes are almost the same as townhomes, except they only come in blocks of two or three. For all three property types, you’re responsible for maintenance, mortgage payments, utilities, etc. Condominiums, commonly referred to as condos, can look like a couple things. Often, condos are homes where you own a unit within a building of other units. You own the unit only, no outer property, and you don’t own the lawn or have ownership over common areas. A townhome can also be considered a condo in some situations. While condo owners typically don’t pay for utilities, they do have to pay condo fees that contribute to the maintenance of the building and common areas.
The Barrie condo market
Barrie’s condo market has earned itself a reputation as a booming industry. Waterfront condos in Barrie have reached record selling prices this year, often topping $1 million. Even complexes without waterfront views are reaching prices of $600,000 and beyond. This is a big rise compared to 2020, when the average condominium price sat just below $400,000. Barrie’s condo market appealed to many because of its comparative affordability, but is now becoming almost as expensive as the market for detached houses.
One point to note is condos have seen a slight delay in how long they take to sell, hinting that buyer interest and demand are decreasing. In May, condo apartments were only on the market for an average of 17 days, and that number grew to 38 days by mid-June. Still, as of May 2021, year-over-year sales for condos were up 170 per cent, beating detached housing stats in Simcoe County.
All stats are from the Barrie District & Association of Realtors, Zoocasa, and RE/MAX.
Barrie housing market
It’s old news by now the housing market is busy. According to Zolo, numbers between June 19 and July 18 put the average selling housing price in Barrie at $748,223. This is a slight decrease from the May-June numbers, but for many specific housing types, such as two- and three-bedroom detached homes, prices are still increasing. Inventory has been up and down for months, but is overall rising after the lowest inventory period back in January.
Overall, the housing market is seeing a gradual increase in supply, but housing prices aren’t showing many signs of a big cooldown yet. If you’re hoping to buy a detached house in Barrie, you should still prepare for some competition and big prices.
What’s best for you?
So, what property type should you buy in Barrie? There are a number of factors you should consider, including, of course, prices. Here are some of the big points you should consider before buying a home.
Oftentimes, buying a detached house will be the most expensive option for you. This is a generalization and isn’t always true, but is traditionally the case. Condos and townhomes, especially those not on the waterfront in Barrie, are likely to be the most budget-friendly. Detached houses and waterfront properties are going to be more pricey. Also remember to budget for closing costs, utilities, monthly mortgage payments and condo fees if applicable. Once you determine your budget, stick to it!
If you’re planning to buy in Barrie, it’s important to think about how much space you require. How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want a lawn or yard? Do you have kids? If you’re a single person, for example, a small apartment might be great. On the other hand, a five person family will likely need a townhouse or detached house. The need for appropriate space is unavoidable, so don’t waste time looking at properties that won’t work for you.
Buying a detached house means you have the freedom to do almost whatever you want on your property, but you have to maintain it. Freehold townhomes offer a bit of both, giving you power over your property but limited control over the surrounding areas. Condos offer the least amount of freedom to make changes on your own, but also have the least maintenance work. It’s important to take into account how much property maintenance you want to do before you buy.
The bottom line
If you want to buy in Barrie, it might be easier to enter the market today than it was six months ago due to higher inventory and some buyer fatigue. However, remember prices are still high and the market is still intense. That’s why it’s important to use a mortgage broker! We can guide you through the process from start to finish, helping you secure the right product for your needs.
If you have any questions about buying in Barrie, get in touch with me!