A part of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Barrie housing market is bustling. The same can be said for the region in general, as a growing community located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay – the western piece of Lake Simcoe. Conveniently located just over one hour north of Toronto and slightly south of Ontario’s infamous beach party destination, Wasaga Beach, Barrie is a perfect home-buying destination for those seeking to balance a manageable commute to the big city with close proximity to an amazing summer oasis.
At the end of 2020, experts were predicting that the Barrie housing market would be in store for another year of seller’s market conditions in 2021, largely attributed to low inventory, high demand and record-low interest rates. Property prices in the area, and across the broader region, were under extreme upward pressure – conditions that were anticipated to continue into this year. Based on the first half of 2021, it is safe to say that these anticipations were accurate. Here’s how the Barrie real estate market fared in the summer of 2021.
Barrie Housing Market is Flaming Hot
During the first half of 2021, Barrie real estate was in a strong seller’s market and this trend did not change come the second half of the year. During the month of July 2021, the Multiple Service Listing System of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS recorded 509 unit sales for the area – a year-over-year decrease of 30.2 per cent when compared to July of last year. While this number is a vast decrease on a year-to-year basis, home sales were still 9.1 per cent above the five-year average and 4.6 per cent above the 10-year average for July. Scoping down, the city of Barrie logged 255 residential unit sales during July 2021. Interestingly, this is a 33.3-per-cent year-over-year decline in sales and a large contributor to the metric for the entire district, as the largest percentage of unit sales for the district are concentrated in the city.
Conversely, year-to-date home sales in the area jumped up approximately 38.3 per cent when comparing the first seven months of 2021 to that of 2020, with 4,268 units being sold so far in 2021. Chantal Godard, President of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS®, takes note that July’s figures were unexpectedly low considering last year’s numbers. “Home sales came in well below where they were last July when the resurgence was in full effect but looking at the rest of history this was still a very solid month for activity,” she said.
Regarding the area as a whole, 619 new residential listings hit the market – a steep 20.8-per-cent decline compared to July 2021. This number is also 13.7 per cent and 12.9 per cent below the five-year and 10-year averages, respectively. Come the end of July, there were only 423 units up for sale, marking a three-decade low for the number of units listed in the month of July.
Barrie housing prices have been steadily increasing over the last year and a half. The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for Barrie and District clocked in at $733,900 – up 36.6 per cent compared to one year ago. Goddard notes, “New listings dropped by more than sales, so overall supply levels are at record lows and still falling. We expect a moderation from the breakneck pace in sales that we saw in the second half of last year as we move through the rest of 2021, but unless supply picks up again, we’ll continue to see very strong price growth and tight market conditions.”
What to Expect In Barrie Real Estate
As 2021 continues, it is expected that the Barrie market will experience much of the same behaviours as it has over the last year and a half. After a decline in monthly unit sales compared to last July, demand may be easing, which would soften the tight conditions within this local market. However, in order for the market to shift even remotely back to neutral ground, inventory will need to increase.