Blog by Steve Kotan

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I’ve never been one for sugar coating things and if you ask anyone about me, I am sure you will soon find out that I call it the way I see it.  The most recent EO of the North Bay Real Estate Board would say, “at least with Steve, you know where he stands”. Is my stand always the popular opinion, choice or path? Maybe not, but they are my opinions.  

Let me get to the point. In my opinion, the North Bay Real Estate market is “soft”, Voicing this may not be the popular stand to take and may not be what most Realtors® want to tell the public. We would like you to think that the market is “great”, things are booming. I fully understand that mentality and wanting you to think that.  If we spread doom and gloom, it begets doom and gloom. The media is a prime example of this. They make a big issue about something and it becomes a big issue. It’s a viscous cycle that can become self-fulfilling.  But the point is that the North Bay Real Estate market isn’t booming.

Allow me to clarify what I mean by “soft”. I didn’t say that the North Bay Real Estate market was bad, I only said it was soft.  Are you noticing more “FOR SALE” signs on lawns this year, and less SOLD stickers on those signs? Noticing a lot of NEW PRICE or REDUCED orange banners on those MLS® listings, listings that look great but seem to be sitting on the market longer than you would expect them too? This is what I call a “soft” market. Maybe a traditionalist will call it a balanced market, not a Sellers’ or a Buyers’ market, its balanced. The North Bay Real Estate market and real estate markets across Canada have enjoyed a number of years of boom. And although according to reports, major markets across Canada may still be booming, I feel North Bay is not enjoying that same robust flurry of activity.

I can supply tons of stats and figures for you but these can always be misleading.  In my straightforward way I will give you the bare minimum facts so it’s not ambiguous. Total number of MLS® listings in North Bay this year to date are up 7%, total number of MLS® listings SOLD this year to date is down 5%, this is a 13% swing in the market over 2010.  This swing does not seem to have affected the homeowners’ gain in value too badly. Conservatively in the North Bay area a property has appreciating on average 5% in value year over year for the last 5-6 years but this year to date it is slightly below that.

So what does this “soft” or “balanced” market mean to you the consumer? If you are a Seller, it means that you need to list you property at a proper price, number one priority. As a Realtor® and member of the North Bay Real Estate Board, I have access to up to date North Bay Real Estate MLS® statistics that I draw from when pricing your home. FACTS, not hear say from the neighbours, your Aunt Patti, a friend that just sold at the other end of town or some out of town friend that sold one time five years ago.  You need to listen to me when I give you advice on staging your home for marketing, be co-operative with showing requests and draw on my 21 years of experience as a successful Realtor®.

As a Buyer, you can capitalize on this market. Unlike in the last 5-7 years, there are more active MLS® listings in North Bay available to view.  Pricing is therefore more competitive and less multiple offers are occurring. Interest rates are extremely good at the same time that the market has an increased inventory. This can be win/win situation for you as a Buyer if you find a property that you like.  But that doesn’t give you the luxury of unlimited time to think about a particular home. If you find a home that you like, you do need to act on it. It may be gone tomorrow, even in a ‘soft” market. I can help you with this process. I can look out for you best interests. I can make that dream come true.


I am a local professional Realtor®, with 21 years experience dealing real estate in this beautiful city of North Bay.


  • North Bay Real Estate Services, Brokerage
  • Phone:705-472-2980
  • Address:117 Chippewa Street West
  • North Bay
  • P1B 6G3