Where to buy real estate in Canada 2021: Simcoe



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City Postal FSA Neighbourhood name Overall rank Avg price 2020 1-year growth 3-year growth 5-year growth Value score (out of 5 stars) Neighbourhood economics score (out of 5 stars) Neighbourhood accessibility score (out of 5 stars) % Households with Children
Oro-Medonte L0L Sugarbush 1 $641,385 10% 28% 96% 2.9 5.0 0.3 44%
Innisfill L9S Sandy Cove Acres 2 $199,994 8% 1% 82% 4.7 3.1 2.5 47%
Clearview L0M Creemore 3 $712,492 67% 52% 900% 5.0 2.8 0.3 46%
Oro-Medonte L0L Horseshoe Valley 4 $774,038 16% 26% 59% 2.3 5.0 0.3 44%
New Tecumseth L0G Rural New Tecumseth 5 $757,154 13% 46% 157% 2.6 4.6 2.4 49%
Oro-Medonte L0L Oro Station 6 $748,380 8% 19% 63% 2.1 5.0 0.3 44%
Tay L0K Rural Tay 7 $505,169 23% 56% 117% 4.3 2.8 0.5 33%
Oro-Medonte L0L Rural Oro 8 $954,307 35% 36% 54% 1.9 5.0 0.3 44%
Oro-Medonte L0L Hawkestone 9 $792,668 7% 18% 56% 1.9 5.0 0.3 44%
Ramara L0K Lagoon City 10 $567,486 15% 64% 105% 3.8 2.8 0.5 33%
Essa L0M Angus 11 $552,557 16% 23% 355% 3.7 2.8 0.3 46%
Collingwood L9Y Collingwood 12 $530,420 29% 38% 85% 4.0 2.2 2.6 31%
Severn L0K Washago 13 $570,409 11% 36% 80% 3.3 2.8 0.5 33%
Innisfill L9S Alcona 14 $637,587 19% 19% 76% 3.0 3.1 2.5 47%
Ramara L0K Rural Ramara 15 $646,468 19% 35% 194% 3.2 2.8 0.5 33%
Barrie L4N Sunnidale 16 $549,912 18% 29% 186% 3.6 2.3 2.1 49%
Oro-Medonte L0K Moonstone 17 $675,170 28% 28% 84% 3.1 2.8 0.5 33%
Penetanguishene L9M West of Main Street 18 $548,307 42% 15% 268% 4.1 1.7 0.2 33%
Barrie L4N West 19 $548,142 12% 23% 281% 3.5 2.3 2.1 49%
Barrie L4N Lakeshore 20 $517,968 13% 18% 142% 3.5 2.3 2.1 49%
Barrie L4N Ardagh 21 $566,833 21% 17% 176% 3.5 2.3 2.1 49%
Oro-Medonte L0K Warminster 22 $703,042 15% 48% 139% 3.0 2.8 0.5 33%
Barrie L4N Holly 23 $570,909 21% 21% 119% 3.4 2.3 2.1 49%
Wasaga Beach L9Z Wasaga Beach 24 $567,518 17% 31% 80% 3.4 2.1 0.6 28%
Barrie L4N Painswick 25 $566,235 15% 21% 23% 3.2 2.3 2.1 49%
Penetanguishene L9M East of Main Street 26 $523,443 23% 27% 99% 3.8 1.7 0.2 33%
Bradford/west gwillibury L3Z Bradford 27 $783,723 19% 35% 70% 2.4 3.0 4.2 55%
Ramara L3V Joyland Beach 28 $518,985 26% 85% 100% 4.6 0.7 0.3 35%
Oro-Medonte L0L Shanty Bay 29 $1,175,209 17% 18% -51% 0.0 5.0 0.3 44%
Ramara L0K Bayshore Village 30 $848,107 25% 27% 102% 2.2 2.8 0.5 33%
Barrie L4M City Centre 31 $494,849 15% 20% 65% 3.6 1.3 2.4 41%
Tiny L9M Rural Tiny 32 $630,176 11% 45% 78% 3.1 1.7 0.2 33%
Barrie L4N Innishore 33 $700,545 10% 16% 59% 2.4 2.3 2.1 49%
Barrie L4M East 34 $587,729 20% 26% 109% 3.4 1.3 2.4 41%
Barrie L4M North 35 $549,627 13% 19% 51% 3.2 1.3 2.4 41%
Essa L0M Utopia 36 $822,188 4% -3% 487% 1.8 2.8 0.3 46%
Ramara L3V Atherley 37 $720,519 39% 61% 98% 3.6 0.7 0.3 35%
MD-Midland L4R West of King Street 38 $463,448 13% 33% 177% 4.0 0.0 0.0 34%
Orillia L3V East Ward 39 $327,571 -25% 4% 0% 3.2 0.7 0.3 35%
Orillia L3V West Ward 40 $231,628 -39% -30% 0% 3.0 0.7 0.3 35%
Innisfill L9S Big Bay Point 41 $865,800 -22% 19% -71% 0.7 3.1 2.5 47%
Orillia L3V North Ward 42 $292,718 -31% -28% 0% 2.9 0.7 0.3 35%
Orillia L3V Westridge 43 $295,777 -38% -26% 0% 2.7 0.7 0.3 35%
Ramara L3V Valharbour 44 $566,500 8% -34% 22% 2.4 0.7 0.3 35%

Value
Measures how affordable the neighbourhood is compared to the surrounding area and the region overall
Momentum
Measures how quickly prices are appreciating in this neighbourhood, with an emphasis on long term
appreciation

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Realtor Grade

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How realtors we surveyed rate this neighbourhood

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Located north of the GTA, Simcoe is part of the Golden Horseshoe and is divided primarily into two areas. South Simcoe is the higher-income, more densely populated area closer to the GTA, while North Simcoe is more sparsely populated, remote, and has a more modest economic status. The two main cities associated with Simcoe are Barrie and Orillia, and they are both located in the northern part of the region.

Why we’re watching Simcoe 

Simcoe offers an opportunity for buyers to enjoy affordable small-town living, with access to beaches, forests and green space, with urban amenities nearby. 

The area has a median household income of $76,489, according to the 2016 Statistics Canada Census, with a population of 479,650 sprawling over 4,859 square kilometres. The primary industries include manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

For house-hunters, Simcoe offers affordable suburban or rural living with easy access to nature, highways and moderately sized surrounding cities.

Pre-COVID real estate market

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was possible to purchase a home in Simcoe for an average cost of $657,945, which is about one-third less than the average cost of a home in the City of Toronto. Detached homes are plentiful in this region and could be purchased for an average price of $689,699. Semi-detached homes and condos are less common but still available in urbanized areas like Barrie and Orillia, and purchased for an average cost of $536,192 and $387,983, respectively.

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic did have a minor impact on real estate prices in Simcoe, but less so than other areas because prices in this region were not overly inflated beforehand. The introduction of public health regulations caused a minor dip in real estate prices in 2020, with the average cost of a home dropping 3% in April 2020 to $634,731. Fortunately, the industry quickly rebounded, and prices recovered to February 2020 levels by June of the same year.

Future outlook

Looking forward, we expect home values in the Simcoe region to continue their steady march upwards. While Simcoe has a lower volume of real estate activity when compared to others, all indicators still point overwhelmingly to a seller’s market. Pricing was up in March 2021 by 2% month over month, to an average of $924,585, and 588 transactions took place, a record-breaking number. 

The average new listing in Simcoe spends only seven days on the market. Generally, a large number days on the market indicate a buyer’s market, and a low number indicates a seller’s market with a serious interest in new listings. This sentiment is further bolstered by the region’s 70% sales to new listings ratio (SNLR). Typically, a SNLR between 40% and 60% is considered a balanced market, and SNLR above 60% favours sellers. Buying in Simcoe is still a good idea, but be prepared to compete with other buyers for properties.

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Simcoe neighbourhoods

Sugarbush

If you’re looking for a renewed connection to nature, there’s no better place to buy than Sugarbush in Oro-Medonte. Surrounded by incredible hiking, skiing and biking trails, with the Bass Lake Provincial Park nearby, Sugarbush is the perfect spot to nurture an outdoorsy lifestyle.

Living in Sugarbush, you’ll find yourself needing a car to complete your everyday errands. The closest grocery store is a 10-minute drive away, and kids can expect to take a bus to school in one of the neighbouring towns. Barrie and Orillia are the closest regional centres, about a 30-minute drive away. If you’re considering commuting to downtown Toronto, you may want to look elsewhere, since it can take up to two hours to travel one-way during rush hour. If you’re permanently working from home, or on a reduced in-office schedule, the drive may be doable.

It’s a relatively new neighbourhood, with construction taking place mostly within the last 30 years. New construction is still happening in the town, giving residents the opportunity to create their own estate homes on either acre or half-acre lots—a rare option in smaller, rural communities.

Sugarbush is the most affordable community in Oro-Medonte, offering the chance to experience the area’s unique lifestyle at a lower cost. However, the small market is competitive. Buyers who have their eye on Sugarbush may need to wait for the right property to come on the market, which can lead to competitive bidding for the area’s limited inventory. As a result, pricing in the area has increased by 96%  in the last five years. This trajectory wasn’t stopped by the pandemic either, with increasing interest in suburban and small-town living driving people out of the city. Over the last year, pricing in Sugarbush grew by 10%, to an average price of $641,385.

“Even as things begin to go back to normal, the affordability in Sugarbush compared to nearby communities will continue to make this a wise place to buy real estate,” explains local real estate agent Allyson Neves. “It’s a great region for families wanting more room and a quieter pace of life. If you’re not tied to the big city for work, calling Sugarbush home might be the perfect option.”

Creemore

You may be most familiar with Creemore from the label on your beer can, but the small town in Clearview Township has plenty more to offer. Its name comes from the Gaelic words “croí mór”, meaning “big heart” and that describes the small-town community well. The historical town has become a local destination over the last few years, with the renowned Creemore Brewery bringing tourism to the area, and the Blue Mountains just a 30-minute drive away.

Residents of Creemore get to enjoy the best that small-town Ontario has to offer, including summer festivals, quaint shops, local restaurants, a lavender farm and nearby nature preserves. Compared to our other top Simcoe Neighbourhoods, Creemore allows for a more walkable lifestyle, thanks to in-town amenities like a grocery store and elementary school. However, the area is still mostly suited to cars. Those commuting to work can reach Collingwood, Barrie, Orangeville or Orillia in an hour or less, but expect a trip to downtown Toronto to take up to two hours.

Creemore’s reinvention from a sleepy small town into a local destination has been making positive impacts on the local real estate market for a while, with prices growing a staggering 900% in the last five years. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Creemore real estate stayed strong, in no small part due to the properties meeting buyers’ newfound desires for wide-open spaces and larger homes.

In 2020, real estate prices grew 67% to an average price of $712,492—making it one of the top 15 most expensive markets in all of Simcoe County. Large, newly-constructed estate homes are in high demand, and the town has planned expansion for a new subdivision in the northeast end of the community is set to help meet that. 

The most significant price increases seen recently in Creemore have been as a result of the town’s revitalization, not exclusively evolving pandemic preferences. With that in mind, we anticipate that the demand for real estate in the area will remain high in the coming years, regardless of how the pandemic continues to change buying preferences.

Horseshoe Valley

Horseshoe Valley is a charming village set in the foothills of some of Oro-Medonte’s best ski resorts. Those searching for an active lifestyle can enjoy hiking and biking trails and downhill skiing right in their own backyard.

Horseshoe Valley’s unique resort-side lifestyle has prompted a large stock of condos, not typical to small towns. These condos provide housing options and opportunities for city-dwellers to invest in a secondary home by the slopes. The area has also seen increased demand from retirees and downsizers since single-level, low-maintenance homes can be hard to come by in other areas of the county. For those who want more space, there are still many detached homes on large lots to be found in the area.

Pricing in Horseshoe Valley is higher than in some neighbouring communities, like Sugarbush, but remains firmly in the mid-range of all properties available in Oro-Medonte. The area has seen rising prices recently, with prices growing by 59% over the last five years. During the pandemic, prices grew another 16% to $774,038 as buyers looked for more space and secondary residences.

“The unique lifestyle offered by Horseshoe Valley makes it stand out in the region. In a lot of ways, it’s Simcoe’s Collingwood,” explains Neves. “I expect that the area will continue to grow because of this unique, resort-style lifestyle that’s hard to find elsewhere.”

The post Where to buy real estate in Canada 2021: Simcoe appeared first on MoneySense.



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