First-time homebuyers can’t keep up with Barrie bidding wars
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:23PM EDT
After a solid year of house hunting Janessa Pink is still renting.
Houses are selling before the single-mother can look at them or even while she's looking at them.
“We were literally looking at the house and an offer came and the person accepted it while we were in there. It was well over asking; there were no conditions. I couldn't compete with it.”
Barrie area realtors say the "hot price range" is $300,000 to $400,000, and it's a fierce competition between first time buyers and people downsizing.
“It's very frustrating because I’d really like to get some roots in Barrie and stay here and make this our home, and I’m getting to the point where I’m worried,” Pink says. “I might have to start looking further north.”
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman knows these frustrations exist, and admits the difficulty to find a home in the city is very difficult.
“The pace of the real estate market right now is unprecedented. Thirty and 40 per cent increases, year after year. It's very, very hard to find something and houses are becoming less affordable every month that goes by,” he says.
“If growth is being pushed outside of Barrie and the surrounding communities because of the pressures of lack of supply and how high the prices are, then you're going to have a lot more pressure on roads coming into the City of Barrie. It's going to mean more people on the roads commuting and that's not a good thing.”
The City of Barrie has plans to cool things down. One solution is 840 new affordable housing units over the next decade. Another is allowing more new developments on land that was annexed from Innisfil.
But building takes time. Realtors say today's buyers should be smart about their spending and have some expert help.
“What we can encourage people to do is stay within the stated boundaries of where your comfort level will be as far as financing is concerned. You don't want to over-spend on a home. There will always be another home out there,” says Rob Alexander, president of Barrie and District Association of Realtors.
Pink isn't ready to give up.
“I'm gonna continue to look and hope for the best, stay positive, hopefully my house will come one day.”