The Missing Middle in The Blue Mountains
As a real estate agent in The Blue Mountains in 2022 I am well aware of the current state of the real estate market in our area. We are dealing with limited inventory yes, coupled with low-interest rates the last year which have created a hot seller’s market often with bidding wars and over-ask sales by 200K+. While this is great if you are a seller, as a buyer it can be a bit disheartening. In this strong seller’s market, we have had buyers contact us that have healthy budgets, but we are simply lacking the home inventory. So today dear reader, we discuss the missing middle in The Blue Mountains.
The Hot Real Estate Market
The Ontario real estate market has remained a hot seller’s market for a while now. Buyers, especially first-time homebuyers are feeling this heat. “While governments across Canada have taken steps to “cool down” the housing market or provide help to first-time buyers, these demand-side solutions only work if there is enough supply. Shortages of supply in any market have a direct impact on affordability.” (Quote from the report of the Ontario House Affordability Task Force)
The Missing Middle In The Blue Mountains and COVID19
At the start of COVID with work going more virtual we were seeing decent-sized family homes a couple hour’s drive away from GTA with fair prices- such as Collingwood, Wasaga, Meaford, and even areas within Thornbury and The Blue Mountains. Thornbury and The Blue Mountains definitely benefited at the start of COVID-19, but then sales have skyrocketed due to limited inventory and is no longer attainable. We are seeing small apartments or condos become available, but quickly get snatched up. We are missing the middle ground, the decent-sized homes for first-time buyers, Millennials, and younger couples looking to upgrade from their small apartments and condos. This population is searching for homes whether they need more space for work, to start families, etc. We are also missing housing options for older populations whose kids have moved out and are considering downsizing. With home prices the way they are, they may want to cash out but the question then becomes where do I go?
The missing middle is the lack of 1-3 bedroom homes that are affordable in our area
We are seeing homes that 4 years ago would have been “the perfect starter home” and an average price tag of 450K, that now have an average price tag of over a million. People are going back to in-person workplaces, for those who moved away from for example the GTA to come to Collingwood and work virtually are now having to make the drive. Likewise, those who are looking to move to smaller more affordable areas such as Rocklyn then have to commute to Owen Sound or Collingwood for their jobs. Gas prices now need to be factored in, and with the rising costs of gas, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
What is the solution?
There is no quick fix, in fact, it’s going to take a combination of actions to help improve this missing middle housing crisis. The Ontario government has made a goal to create 1.5 Billion homes in the next decade (CBC news) but for buyers, it feels like these builds cannot come soon enough. Wednesday, March 30th The Housing Affordability plan was released which discusses municipalities having more power to “speed up approvals for the creation of non-profit housing, community centres, hospitals, long-term care homes or other similar projects.” (CBC news) Which is a step toward speedier development. Check out the full plan by clicking here. Therefore our solution to the missing middle in The Blue Mountains and across Ontario is increased home inventory, coupled with the rise in interest rates. If you are a first-time buyer in this market I highly suggest you take a look at my blog post on Tips for First Time Buyers to help ensure you are prepped and ready in this market. In addition, be sure to check out my blog Incentives for First-time Homebuyers in The Blue Mountains. Here you can find the different incentives offered to you if you are eligible, which may help you get into this hot market.
Dear reader, I feel for you, in this Ontario real estate market where we have an obvious missing middle for buyers. I want to try and help you find something in your budget, in your desired area that fits your needs. New Developments are slowly but surely under construction in The Blue Mountains. To be added to our preferred client list for updates on The Blue Mountains, Thornbury, or Meaford be sure to click on your preferred area, fill in the form, and we will update you once there are new-build opportunities. If you are prepped and ready to dive into this resale real estate market, don’t be scared, take my hand, check out my buyer services and contact me today! Let’s find your perfect home in The Blue Mountains.