Residential housing sales in Barrie levelled off in May; prices were up slightly

Sales were down .8%; prices rose 2.3%

Real estate sales in Barrie levelled off last month.

Barrie and District Association of REALTORS (BDAR) figures for the month show a decline of 0.8 per cent with 366 units sold. The BDAR, noting a decline from March to April as well, says it could be an indication the housing market here is beginning to cool. A year ago, there was a 111 per cent increase in sales from April to May.

The average price of a resale home in Barrie last month rose 2.3 per cent to $743,752.

In Simcoe County, excluding Barrie, 697 units were sold last month – 14.4% fewer than in April. At the same time a year ago, there was an 86.7% increase. The average price of units sold in the areas outside of Barrie last month was $830,323 – 4 per cent more than in April.

Royal Bank revises housing forecast

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), meantime, has revised its housing forecast for this year, adjusting it higher, suggesting prices will rise 13 per cent this year.

Bank officials say policy makers have done little to cool the frenzied real estate market.

The new mortgage stress test rate kicks in June 1

RBC senior economist Robert Hogue said while qualifying for a mortgage became slightly tougher in June, and more homeowners listed their properties for sale. Those two factors, he said, have not made a difference to buyers who continue to outbid each other with extremely low inventories and fast-rising prices.

This has only prolonged a much-needed rebalancing of Canada’s housing market, Hogue said.