Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 residential construction forecast for Wasaga Beach, town of the Blue Mountains, Clearview (Creemore), Collingwood, Mulmur township

2014 residential construction forecast

The 2014 construction year looks a lot like it did last year. Last year there was a suspected real estate boom with a lot of properties reduced in price from sitting on the market and expected to sell in the spring creating a surge for real estate which in turn would theoretically drive the renovation market higher because of people buying homes at a reduced price and having money left over to renovate. Well that didn’t really happen, there was a slight surge in real estate but not like everyone thought. The real estate surge didn’t come till the second part of the year when the market really took off. This should theoretically help the 2014 renovation market; people buying homes usually want to renovate them in the first couple of years of owning them.

People find that the homes that they have bought have problems that need to be fixed or repaired which usually leads to a larger renovation. The real estate market was extremely strong in the fall of 2013 and it continued into the holiday season with real estate agents confessing to having a higher than normal number of calls.

The renovation market looks to be slow through the winter months as winter has come early and looks to be a long and deep one. It should pick up once the spring arrives and really get into high gear come the summer months.

Home building on the other hand is something else entirely, with the lag that it takes to gets designs, permits and approvals most custom homes won’t be starting until late spring early summer. In some areas it looks better than others and should see stronger early spring starts (depending on the weather of course). With kind of winter the building season will be pushed back later in the spring because of the half load restrictions that will be enforced on the roads.

Wasaga Beach

Residential construction looks to stay strong in Wasaga Beach like it has for the past couple of years. With a mix of sub-division homes, older homes needing renovations and a growing retirement community looking for custom homes to be built there will definitely be a lot of building going on in Wasaga Beach.

Wasaga Beach’s change from tourism to retirement community has become quite evident and a lot of people are now looking at Wasaga Beach as a place to retire too instead of vacation. The closer you get to the water the larger and more expensive the homes you will find being constructed. With the abundance of older homes that had been used only as run down rentals there is a push to have them removed for newer homes.
This is happening with the town enforcing a no short term rental policy that had never previously been enforced; only areas that are designated short term rentals are now allowed to have these with everyone else facing large fines if caught. Without rental income these older run down cottages are being placed on the market for sale.

As has been the trend in the previous year’s you should be able to find construction in every area of Wasaga Beach, whether it is a house under renovation or a new home being built, there is lots of work to do be done in the beach.

Town of the Blue Mountains

The town of the Blue Mountains saw a slowdown in the amount of permits that were issued in the last quarter of the year but that might have a lot to with the early and heavy winter that has arrived.  Town of the Blue Mountains should see the building of new homes trend ever higher through the new year with some of the bigger projects that have had trouble gaining traction over the previous year’s finally getting going. A lot of these larger projects with their custom home designs are starting to have homes constructed which usually helps sell other lots when future homeowners can see what their home could look like. There are small, medium and large projects in the Town of Blue Mountains that seem to starting to erect buildings, if this continues to gather steam this could be the first step in another building boom in the area in the coming years.

The prospect for growth in new home construction looks more promising than it did the last couple of years but the process to acquire a permit seems to take a longer time, this will push a lot of new home starts into the summer or fall instead of the spring. The prospect of a long winter also will push the start of new homes to the later spring with the ground frozen or water logged.

The renovation market on the other hand doesn’t seem to be showing a lot of signs of life, there are still a fair bit of older homes in the township that require remediation but for some reason people are reluctant to do anything with them. There seems to be a large amount of homes for sale that were constructed in the early 1990’s and when they change hands there should be work created updating them.

Town of Collingwood  

This coming year looks solid for renovations in Collingwood, with the amount of real estate that changed hands in the last two quarters of the year, the hope is that new owners of old properties will generate renovation jobs because most new home owners that purchase a used home are buying a home that they want to alter. Usually once new homeowners have moved in they find that there are things that need immediate attention such as the roofs.

The sub-divisions in Collingwood seem to be progressing at a fairly steady pace; when it comes to custom homes the market is consistent, consistently slow compared to its neighbour the Blue Mountains. There are very few places in the town of Collingwood to build custom homes with most of Collingwood having older homes and new tract built sub-divisions.

 Township of Mulmur

The township of Mulmur looks to have a good year for construction on all fronts. There seems to be a lot of interest in this market for new custom homes, renovations and additions. A lot of land has been bought in the last couple of years with people looking to build country homes and estates. With its proximity to Toronto, Orangeville and the Mansfield Ski Club the township of Mulmur seems to be the logical choice for the next big building boom in this area. What we don’t know if it will happen this year or if it will just be a gradual growth over the next successive years building to something larger down the road.

The Township of Mulmur overall looks to produce a fair bit of construction work this year and into the following years, that is if things continue the way they seem to be going.

 Township of Clearview (Creemore)

The township of Clearview is a unique place all on to its own. Most of the higher end homes are all built in and around the town of Creemore, but in a township with so many older homes it’s surprising and sad that there isn’t more renovation work going on. This township will see continued slow construction across the board; renovations will be slow even though the area seems to have a strong real estate flow. The fringe areas of the township towards the township of Mulmur will see the most action with not that much happening in the rest of the township. High building and development fees are suppressing most development and buildings.

Clearview looks to continue on the same path as the last couple of years where the overall construction in the township will be random and light.

The Overall 

The market in all of the townships is trending towards more custom homes being built then in the previous years but nothing compared to before the 08 crash. What has changed in the last couple of years is that the size of the houses that are being built are growing and becoming more luxurious. As the dollar amount of permits overall seems to be creeping up, the dollar value of these homes has skyrocketed. These larger and more luxurious houses are still predominantly second homes, chalets or county retreats. There is an eye for people growing closer to retirement to arrange the house so that it can be made their permanent place once they finally retire and leave the busy city life.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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