When it comes to real estate, everyone is an expert. There are many myths about property in the Town of Brome Lake, from there not being enough affordable housing to nothing is selling. Both are wrong.

The latest piece of news is that the median prices of property in the Town of Brome Lake rose 27 percent in 2017 to $354,000. That is the highest percentage increase in the province.

But before you start dreaming of how to spend the money when you sell your house, let’s analyze the number. The median sale price is in the middle, when you arrange all the sale prices from low to high: half of the properties sold above $354,000 and half sold at a lower price.

It does not mean that every property in the town has gone up by 27 percent. In reality the number was pulled higher by sales of million dollar plus properties on the lake.

The median price jump does mean there is interest in the town: in 2016 TBL was in the top five on the median price list. That 27 percent number should not trick you into thinking this is a booming market. The average property in the Town of Brome Lake spends 374 days on the market. There are a number of For Sale signs all over town. The reason is simple according to the experts: wishful thinking. The houses are over priced.

Many people think there is no affordable housing in the town. According to more than one real estate professional this is not true. “There are plenty of properties for sale in the $150,000 to $220,000 range.” With a $20,000 down payment, the $180,000 mortgage on a $200,000 house would cost $869 a month, an amount most people can afford.

At the same time, there are more high-end properties – one million dollars and up – being built for use as secondary residences. The effect of this is to raise the market assessed value of surrounding properties. This means that in some cases, local and long-time residents can no longer afford the higher taxes on their properties.

Addressing this issue, in order to preserve the diverse social fabric of our neighbourhoods, will become more and more pressing for our municipal, as well as our provincial governments.