Chesley Real Estate Analysis
An Analysis of housing prices and locations in Chesley, ON
This project hopes to:
Generate a conclusion regarding the potential reasons behind the sale of properties
Find and plot the locations of properties for sale in Chesley
Discover relationships between properties for sale and their location to services (schools, hospital, parks)
Analysis, Maps and Data
The following provides descriptions and findings of the maps that appear after these information pages. Data charts, diagrams and field notes are also included.
The research and analysis for the neighbourhood area map allowed for several conclusions regarding the varying ranges of real estate that exist within Chesley. First of all, there is a significant difference in the average price for hones in the North End Neighbourhood. By using the information from the field chart it can be determined that the majority of these homes are newer, built within the last 30 years on lots that are typically larger than those in the rest of the town. It should also be noted this area, particularly Tower Park is very quiet and provides quick access to highways for easy travel routes. These factors, combined with the closer proximity of Kinghurst Community School are the driving influences for pricing in this area. This can be seen with the 500 metre buffer that surrounds the school. In addition, this region had the smallest number of homes for sale, most likely due to the fact that more mature, settled families live in this region as they are able to afford the higher prices.
As for the West Side and East Side Neighbourhoods, the results are very comparable. The pricing is slightly higher for the East Side, most likely due to the fact these homes are close to Chesley District High School and the South Bruce Grey Health Centre. The homes in these two neighbourhoods tend to be older, smaller homes on smaller lots. This is especially true for homes in the south end of the East Side as they are wartime homes. The highest concentration of homes for sale and the lowest average price is in the West Side neighbourhood. By looking at both maps it is easy to see how it is the most underserviced area within Chesley. This is because these homes are furthest from all schools and the hospital. In the field chart it was also noted there were several homes that were not in the greatest condition, affecting the average pricing. This area also lacked a public greenspace for recreational use, although it does offer the best access to the Heritage Trail.
The Downtown area has a high percentage of properties for sale at nearly 20%. A real estate trend like this would not be seen in large urban centres such as Toronto, but neither would the pricing. On average, the cost of buying a storefront building in Chesley is less than buying a home at $135,954. The one exception is the building where a Mac’s Convenience store used to be, priced at $290,000. It is unknown as to why this is more expensive than other commercial properties. The reason behind the higher volume of commercial sales could be due to other communities such as Port Elgin, Paisley or Southampton offering more tourism traffic that could support a larger store. Many of the existing businesses are independently owned as bigger companies choose not to invest in small towns, especially with larger centres such as Hanover and Owen Sound offering more options.
For the final map regarding the different real estate brokers in Chesley, Dave Spencer, a real estate agent for Wilfred McIntee Real Estate was interviewed. For a description of this map, please see Map Descriptions on the following pages. The breakdown of the different brokers in Chesley revealed that McIntee has the highest number of listing throughout the town so this is why they were contacted. According to Spencer, the last five years have seen a drastic increase in the number of properties for sale in Chesley and this is creating a problem within the real estate industry. The issue is not with the available of properties, namely homes, but that more people want to more out of Chesley than those who want to more in.
The town’s population of two thousand has remained stagnant over the past decade as there has been no new features added to attract potential residents. David said the number one reason people do not choose Chesley to live in is because of the lack of employment. While Chesley offers a public school and high school along with a library, pool, community centre, arena, drug store, grocery store, two banks, a hospital and a clinic, it still has not been enough to increase the demand for homes. Looking just at the Bruce and Grey Counties, it is very difficult to find such a small town that offers so much. Spencer said the majority of people who are moving out of Chesley are senior adults looking to downsize to simpler and smaller dwellings, such as seniors’ apartments. This has been about the only area of growth for the town with three sites developed in the last four years. This still has not been enough to retain residents as many of these seniors decide on moving to other towns, such as Hanover, that offer more housing choices. In other cases, middle aged adults who have gained enough wealth to live in more expensive locations are trying to move out of the town in search of more upscale neighbourhoods.
The real estate market in Chesley varies greatly from urban areas, especially in the areas of growth, pricing and time on market. The average home for Chesley costs $169,000, with the highest priced home currently asking $379,900. The national average has reached $380,000, an all-time high. Furthermore, the average residential property in Chesley will be on the market from 9 to 11 months before being sold. Compared to the Greater Toronto Area where homes are sold usually in a matter of days, this is a huge contrast.
When looking at the important factors affecting property buying decisions, Chesley truly has many features that make it attractive. For a small town of two thousand, there is a wide variety of services. In addition, the town is safe, quiet and is very affordable. The major drawback this study found was the lack of employment. History has proven time and time again that people go to where they jobs are, and Chesley simply does not offer a wide range of professional, high demand jobs that younger generations are desperately trying find. There are many empty commercial spaces downtown because there is not the support demographic needed to keep larger businesses in operation. Although the recent purchase of the old Durham Furniture plant by GRS Hardwood Flooring Distribution has promised a large number of jobs, there has been no immediate impact in real estate. It has been discovered that the age, relation to services and style impact the real estate market, but employment is the biggest factor affecting Chesley.
It is very difficult to recommend a solution to the real estate issue in Chesley as there is very little that can be done by the residents and the municipality to attract newcomers. The town has done an excellent job at keeping a variety of services open despite the small population. The community has also been able to keep the high school within its own neighbourhood. There is really nothing wrong with Chesley other than the fact that the small town model of life is quickly becoming a thing of the past. There are other towns with a similar problem as people flock to urban centres and this trend is reflected around the globe. The best solution would be to offer incentives to companies to set up some form of manufacturing or a distribution centre that would attract new people and positively affect the housing market. Aside from this, it is recommended that more senior housing is developed as a way to retain aging residents and keep the community together. It is very hard to predict where the housing market will be in future, but the current trends suggest the outlook is bleak.
Chesley Neighbourhood Comparison
This map allows for a broad, but detailed look at the different real estate ranges that exist in Chesley. The large coloured areas have divided the town into four distinct parts to help separate and organise the data collected regarding the number of properties for sale and the information that is attached to them, such as pricing. Now that this analysis has been completed, it shows how there are a variety of real estate options throughout Chesley. From the map it can be determined the North End Neighbourhood has the highest valued property in the town, with the East Side Neighbourhood following it, then the West Side Neighbourhood and finally the Downtown. It also highlights the location of all the real estate listings, grouping them by commercial or residential properties. As expected, there are more residential listings than commercial. These coloured lots show through the neighbourhood areas, allowing for a closer look at where the majority of them are located. To help with the analysis the prices for the homes were researched and organised into an Excel spreadsheet to keep all the information together. The neighbourhood boundaries were based on their geographic location within the town and were made to be as equal as possible.
Chesley Real Estate Location Buffer Analysis
This map helps to provide reasoning to the locations of the homes for sale in Chesley. The buffers in the main section of the map provide a 500 metre range around Kinghurst Community School, the South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Chesley District High School to prove how these services impact property sales. Only 34% of the homes for sale are within these buffers, making it logical to state that people are more content living closer to these services. The smaller buffers around the two parks also help to show that greenspace is an important factor in buying real estate as there are even fewer properties for sale in these areas. From this map it can also be determined the most ideal location to live would be where the buffer for the hospital and CDHS overlap as it would provide the best access to both. This is area is close to the Chesley Park as well and the homes are more affordable. Of course, where people choose to live is impacted by more than just these factors, but it provides a clear view of what services are where and what is available for purchase. The schools, parks and the hospitals where focused on for this map because they are important factors when homebuyers are looking for a new house.
Chesley Real Estate Brokerage Comparison
This map has divided up the collected GPS data based on the real estate information collected for each property. The result is a breakdown of the different realtors currently operating in Chesley. Data was extracted from the main GPS source data based on how the property is being listed. By looking at the map it is clear that the traditional method of listing with a realtor is the most popular, with Wilfred McIntee being the dominant force in Chesley. From this map it can be determined that most people choose to use a local realtor to sell their homes, but there is a small number who choose to do it online. There does not seem to be any reason for concern that online listings will overtake traditional methods of selling properties in Chesley any time soon, although it is a growing trend across Canada.
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Luwic, R. (2013, May) When it comes to location, what do home buyers value most? The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 21, 2013 on the World Wide Web:
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Ontario Base Map
Ontario Road Network
County of Bruce