So what is propelling the massive increase in real estate prices?


Lot of talk and lots of beer hall real estate experts will have you believing either “you need to sell now!” or that “now is the time
to buy.” 

So which is it?

Is the hot real estate market in Barrie something to be quickly investing in NOW or is it time to cash out and sail off into the sunset with a few bucks in your pocket?

Recently, the Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR) hosted a panel discussion with analytics experts from the Toronto Real Estate Board and Moody’s moderated by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) CEO Tim Hudak.

Interestingly, the conclusion was that Barrie’s hot market is estimated by objective experts to be approximately 20 per cent over inflated.

Although this may sound unsettling, the expectation is that the Barrie market will continue to see double digit growth over the next ten years.

So what is propelling the massive increase in real estate prices?

The panel experts agree that the main factor in Barrie is lack of supply. Barrie has grown so rapidly over the past ten to fifteen years Barrie is approaching total build out. This means that people are choosing to renovate their starter homes into a price range that is out of reach for many new homeowners.

The Province and the City of Barrie have aggressively pursued growth policies that promote increasing density which is more efficient for services and much better for municipal tax revenue. The aggressiveness of this policy has had the effect of over inflating real estate values and creating an affordable housing crisis in Barrie.

Barrie’s annexed land on the south end won’t likely see any meaningful development for several years and will likely be highly focused on creating employment lands rather than residential. This is a fine balancing act that Barrie’s Municipal Council will have to perform with some assistance from the provinces current strategic direction. With some creative municipal planning it could be possible to see both increased density with more residential growth in the newly annexed Innisfil lands.

So the conclusion is …well…inconclusive.

The thing you can count on is that our “bubble” is relatively small and real estate prices will continue to grow, which is good if you are an owner but not so good if you’re looking to enter the market.

The big question that remains to be answered is what is our municipal and provincial governments are going do to rectify the supply issue to release the supply pressure?

One thing I can guarantee you that won’t work is taxing foreign buyers.