Now that we’re into the spring season, we will soon be experiencing the effects of the spring Barrie real estate market. Spring is often busy for real estate, as the long days of winter are over and people are ready to get outside and start house hunting. As a result, the market tends to get (even more) competitive this time of year. What can we expect to see here in Barrie in terms of supply, demand, and prices? Plus, what are your options if you’re a buyer, seller, or homeowner? Here’s what you need to know about the spring market.

Prices continue to rise

This probably comes as no surprise, but housing prices in Barrie are still on the rise, matching the trends we are seeing across Canada. Data from Zolo, from February 6 to March 6, shows a lot of growth in the housing market. The average sold price across all homes was $982K, compared to $929K from the January 9 to February 6 range. This is a +6.1 per cent monthly change, and a +37.5 per cent yearly change. 

We see similar trends when we break the data down by housing type using the same date ranges. A three bedroom detached house is $1.1 million, compared to $991K. A three bedroom townhouse is $865K, compared to $723K, and a three bedroom condo is $743K compared to $563K. Homes have a 118 per cent selling to listing price ratio, meaning homes continue to sell for over asking.

Supply and demand are uneven

Supply and demand have yet to sort themselves out and balance in the spring Barrie market, as demand far outpaces supply. More and more potential buyers are flooding the market, but from what we are seeing, there just isn’t enough supply to go around. Barrie became a popular spot to relocate during the early months of the pandemic when everyone learned their positions were to be permanently remote, and access to downtown Toronto was largely unnecessary. Since then, demand has just kept rising. A low number of housing starts and new construction has meant that in addition to fewer homes being sold, fewer are being built as well. Plus, investor activities have contributed to low supply and price increases.

Sellers are in a good spot

As it has been for a while now, people looking to sell their homes are in a good position for the spring Barrie market. Given high demand and low supply, your home is likely to be quite valuable and attract a number of buyers. In all likelihood, your home will sell for higher than what you paid for it, so you can expect a nice return on your investment (ROI). However, don’t get too comfy and think you don’t need to put in any work! It’s still important to use an agent to help you find an appropriate listing price and negotiate offers. You should also have your home appraised to help determine its value in this market.

What can buyers do?

Is it possible to buy a home in this spring Barrie market? While we won’t say it’s impossible, it’s extremely competitive out there these days. Between high numbers of other buyers, and rising housing prices, it doesn’t take much for many people to experience a market beyond their reach and budget. If you’re a current homeowner looking to sell and buy a new home, you are in a slightly more advantageous position than first-time buyers, since you have your current home as equity and can leverage that to finance a new purchase. For first-time buyers, your best moves are to meet with a mortgage professional to determine your budget and needs, and see if they are realistic in today’s market. If so, then you can start preparing by getting a pre-approval and getting ready for a competitive season.

Should homeowners refinance?

Now, current homeowners might be wondering if they should refinance their mortgage in today’s market. The Bank of Canada recently increased the target for the overnight rate to 0.50 per cent from 0.25 per cent, meaning lenders’ prime rates will also increase. However, rates are still on the low end today, and refinancing can present opportunities for some homeowners. If you’re looking to access your home’s equity to take on renovations or consolidate debt, for example, this is when a refinance can be useful. The rate increase from the bank doesn’t necessarily mean refinancing is off the table for you, but you can contact a broker to discuss your options.

Impact of Bank of Canada rate increase

Will the bank’s increase to the overnight rate do anything significant to the market? Although the rate increases are meant to address inflation, the bank is purposely performing small increases so as to not risk triggering a recession. This means these rate increases are small enough that they likely won’t make a big difference to the demand and price increases we’re seeing in the market. People are still going to be looking to buy with today’s rates, and we will likely need to see several more increases before we feel the impacts in the housing market.

Much like years past, we’re expecting a fairly busy spring Barrie market. Housing prices will remain high, while demand will outpace supply. Sellers and homeowners have some options to take advantage of their houses and home equity. Buyers will experience the trickiest conditions as competition will likely be on the rise for the season.

If you have questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!