Guelph Real Estate – The Year in Review, 2014

2014We are just about to close out another year and, wow, what a year it has been. How was the year in terms of the Guelph real estate? Well, here are some of my reflections.

Seller’s Market

This trend sure hasn’t changed. 2014 was yet another year that saw, essentially, start to finish buyers struggling (and really struggling, in some cases) to buy homes in Guelph. Let me keep this really simple: We don’t have enough homes to sell our buyers. For some time now we have had a shortage of inventory for buyers and, from my perspective, this past year was particular tough on that front. For the first time since I got into real estate, for example, I had two sets of buyers this year throw up their hands and choose to buy in neighbouring communities after months of searching. A third gave up on finding a resale condo and bought a very speculative new build… again, basically out of desperation.

We have a tremendously inviting community, and lots of people want to come to Guelph to be a part of it. In-migration from areas such as the GTA, Milton, etc., is a significant factor in the shortage of homes for sale.

Home Prices

Well, I could point to the Guelph & District Association of Realtors’ statistics and tell you that home prices in Guelph are up four per cent over 2013, but I’d rather just make a simpler point: A lot of people are overpaying for property in Guelph.

Is that just my opinion? Yes. This is my blog; I’m allowed to have opinions. 🙂

But I have seen it week after week, all year long. Buyers, often in competition, paying more than asking and, frankly, sometimes asking was hardly a steal. I’d point to bungalows in particular as prime targets for over-paying. Perhaps that’s because we just don’t have enough of them to meet the demand. We have a lot of retirees in Guelph looking to downsize and lots of them want the same thing – a cute bungalow.

I hate to see people overpay for property, so that trend bothers me. But I don’t see it changing. Choose your Realtor very wisely, folks. ‘Nuff said.

West End

Holy cow is the West End desirable. In fact, it’s so desirable that no one seemed to want to move out of it this year! If you were looking in this part of town like some of my buyers were this year, it can’t have been easy for you. There were no homes for sale… well, not many in any case. It speaks to the many things that part of town has going for it – great schools, rec centre, lots of great shopping, etc.

Student Rentals

2014 was a year when a lot of investor buyers started to talk about re-focusing their purchasing and renovating decisions to accommodate rentals that don’t specifically target students. Yes, the vacancy rate in Guelph is still very low – but there is more competition now for student rentals. A lot of people have gotten into buying investment properties in Guelph, we have condo developments specifically geared towards students, and so forth. Many of my forward-thinking investor clients are turning their time and attention to professional couples and families as prospective tenants. Interesting trend.

Those, for me, were the main trends I saw in 2014. It was a great year for me personally in real estate and I was able to help a lot of buyers and sellers this year. But there were some challenges, as mentioned above, and going into the new year I don’t see any of those challenges easing up much.

Related Posts
Buying a House in a Seller's Market in GuelphChoosing the Right Guelph Realtor for Rental Properties
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