Seller’s market expected for Barrie in 2021, prices expected to rise 4%

The Barrie housing market is in store for another seller’s market in 2021, thanks to continuing challenges in housing supply, growing demand and rising prices. Low inventory has been a common trend across many Ontario housing markets, putting upward pressure on prices.

Indeed, single-detached homes in Barrie saw prices rise to an average $596,960 in 2020 (Jan. 1-Oct. 31) compared to $539,890 in 2019 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31). During the same period, the average price of condominium properties in the region increased to $399,408. Low supply and rising prices are expected to be a continuing factor in 2021 market activity. Thus, the RE/MAX outlook for Barrie real estate is an increase of 4% in average price to $569,525 across all property types, with sales also expected to see an increase of 5% over 2020 levels.

Housing inventory is very tight in Barrie, currently sitting at one to two months. This shortage that prompted a seller’s market in 2020 is likely to continue in 2021. While more housing supply is expected to come on stream, demand will far outweigh any boost in inventory. Days on market should remain on par with 2020 levels.

Barrie housing market outlook 2021

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Who’s driving demand for Barrie real estate?

Demand from homebuyers leaving the Greater Toronto Area is expected to remain very high in 2021, putting pressure on housing supply and prompting continued price growth in the region. Move-over buyers have been a longer-term trend in the Barrie area, however COVID-19 has intensified this activity in 2020, with many buyers seeking more space further away from densely populated urban areas. With Barrie being only 45 minutes north of the GTA and offering homes at half the price, Barrie continues to be a hot move-over market.

Buyers from the pricey GTA continue to flock to Barrie, which is only 45 minutes north of the GTA and offers homes at half the price.

First-time homebuyers are typically young couples, seeking townhomes in the $490,000-$550,000 price range. Low interest rates will keep them in the game along with regional affordability, unless prices rise more than 10 per cent. Multiple offers have been a common occurrence in 2020, which has been a lesson for many first-timers who have had to adjust their offer strategy due to competing offers. This has also been the case for move-up homebuyers in the area, typically families who have faced the same challenges around multiple offers and a shortage of listings. These conditions are expected to continue in 2021 as well.

Barrie’s condo market is experiencing similar conditions to its low-rise counterpart, characterized by tight inventory, high demand and rising prices. Condo sales caught up to 2019 levels by the end of October 2020, with continued pressure expected in 2021. Agents with condo listings initially had to rebuild their showing protocols to ensure COVID safety, due to condominiums’ contained environments, however agents and clients alike have made all adjustments necessary to be safe and have been transacting without issue.

Luxury real estate in Barrie is being predominantly driven by move-up and recreational home buyers, with an average starting of $800,000. Demand for high-end homes has increased in the Barrie market, which is expected to be a longer-term trend.

Barrie new-home construction

Although many new starts are planned and developed land has started to come on line new-home builds in Barrie have slowed for a number of reasons. Municipal approvals and subdivision plans/permits have experienced delays, due to the COVID-19 shut-down and low staffing levels. Furthermore, building supplies are scarce and more expensive. Finally, builders were challenged in finding trades due to CERB availability or lack of childcare. However, small renovations and non-custom home improvements have been absolutely booming, along with cottage improvements and winterizations. However, this sector is also impacted by limited choice of materials available, and pools, boats, RV’s all being sold out.

Canadian Housing Market in 2021

Canadians are on the move. RE/MAX isn’t calling this an “exodus,” but the re-location trend across the Canadian housing market is real, and it’s just one focus of the RE/MAX 2021 Housing Market Outlook Report. RE/MAX Canada anticipates healthy housing price growth at the national level, with move-up and move-over buyers continuing to drive activity in many regions across the Canadian housing market. An ongoing and widespread housing supply shortage is likely to continue, presenting challenges for homebuyers and putting upward pressure on prices.

Due to these factors, the 2021 RE/MAX 2021 outlook for average residential prices is an estimate of +4% to +6% nation-wide. Here’s the regional break-down:

Canadian Housing Market Outlook REMAX 2021 Data Table

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Additional report findings include:

  • 35% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that “move-over” buyers from other cities and provinces will continue to spark market activity in 2021
  • 45% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that move-up buyers will likely be a primary driver of the housing market demand in 2021
  • Half of Canadians (53%) are confident that Canada’s housing markets will remain steady in 2021
  • 52% of Canadians believe real estate will remain one of the best investment options in 2021

“We’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence since the summer that households are considering significant lifestyle changes by relocating to less-dense cities and neighbourhoods,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “This has sparked unprecedented sales this year in suburban and rural parts of Canada and we expect this trend to continue in 2021.”

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Balanced market expected in 2020, prices to rise 5%

The RE/MAX Barrie Housing Market Outlook for 2020 is calling for balanced market conditions, which characterized market activity in 2019 as well. The average residential sale price expectation for Barrie in 2020 is an increase of five per cent, due to similar market conditions and demand levels experienced in 2019.

Housing affordability continues to be the region’s main draw, attracting homebuyers from pricier parts of the Greater Toronto Area. New development projects in land annexed south of Barrie and upcoming condominium projects are expected to have an impact on the housing market ahead. An automotive innovation industrial employment project has also been approved in Oro, which will lead to job creation and a boost is market activity.

Additional factors that are expected to have an impact in the local housing market include potential changes in interest rates, additional GO Train service for commuters, demand and inventory levels.

Move-up buyers and first-time buyers are expected to drive demand in 2020, which has historically been the case for Barrie’s housing market. Popular neighbourhoods to watch in 2020 include southwest Barrie (Holly and Ardagh), City Centre and the Hanmer Street area.

Barrie housing market reportFrom a national perspective, RE/MAX anticipates a leveling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected, with an estimated 3.7-per-cent increase in the average national residential sales price, according to the RE/MAX 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report.

Most individual markets surveyed across Canada experienced moderate price increases year-over-year from 2018 to 2019. However, some regions in Ontario continue to experience higher-than-normal gains, including London (+10.7 per cent), Windsor (+11 per cent), Ottawa (+11.7 per cent) and Niagara (+12.9 per cent).

“Southern Ontario is witnessing some incredibly strong price appreciation, with many regions seeing double-digit gains,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Thanks to the region’s resilient economy, staggering population growth and relentless development, the 2020 market looks very optimistic.”


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