The average residential sale price in Barrie was approximately $318,700 in 2014, an increase of an estimated 3.4 per cent over 2013. An increase of approximately one per cent in average residential sale price is projected in 2015, continuing Barrie’s steady growth over the past several years. Barrie’s proximity to the Greater Toronto Area draws both young families and retirees to the area. Many firsttime buyers are professional couples who commute to the GTA for work, and are purchasing a home in order to start a family. They often plan to move back to the GTA, but become attached to the lifestyle Barrie offers, such as the proximity to nature and recreational activities, and end up moving up within Barrie instead. Go Train service, which began operating in 2012, has made the commute to downtown Toronto easier for these residents. Retirees from the GTA are another demographic driving demand in Barrie. These buyers are looking for a quieter community, but want to be near family and friends in the city. These two groups of buyers from the GTA are expected to continue to drive demand in the coming year. Supply has been generally low in Barrie for the past decade and active residential listings were down in 2014 from the previous year. Demand is high, creating a seller’s market for properties that are priced well. Buyers in this market are savvy, and while multiple offers are common for properties that are priced correctly, listings that are not well-priced can remain on the market for several months. Barrie is expected to remain a seller’s market for well-priced properties in 2015. The condo market is starting to emerge in Barrie, drawing both the single professional and empty nesters. Market Town Condominiums, a multiresidential development currently under construction, has been performing well in pre-sales. Other condominium developments are being planned for the next several years, as the city aims to increase its density by building up. Several factors prompt optimism for Barrie’s residential real estate market next year and in the years to come. The Go Train is continually adding lines in the region, opening more areas to commuters. There have been preliminary discussions about widening Highway 400 from six lanes to ten between Highway 89 and the 400/11 split, which would decrease commute times and make the area more attractive to buyers. Barrie’s proximity to the GTA is expected to continue to drive demand in the region and keep the residential real estate market vibrant in 2015.
*Estimate **Forecast - Source: Historical values are sourced from CREA or Local Board statistics. Estimates and forecasts are based on the opinion of independent RE/MAX broker/owners and affiliates