So...How's The Real Estate Market?

...Well, it depends!

This is perhaps the most common question I get asked on a weekly basis. A lot of times, it's simply a conversational opening but occasionally, it's a true request for some insight. In order to provide that insight, I always ask; "Are you buying, selling or both?" My next question is; "In what municipality and area are you living & looking?" And finally; "What type of property are you looking at buying/selling?"  The reason for my questions is to provide me with context and leads to my first point of insight for you.

- the real estate market can be hyper-local and how it is behaving in one neighbourhood can be quite a bit different than another neighbourhood and how it is behaving for one property type (condo, town, semi, detached) can vary within the same neighbourhood. You can't rely on simple market statistics that are usually an average across property types and broad municipal areas.

Timing is also critical. The dynamics within a market can change almost overnight. Within the past couple of months, I have seen comparable properties on a street sell within a week or so at a good price for the seller only to have another property come on the week later and take weeks to sell at a lower than expected price. If you are selling, be prepared to be patient but make sure that your property stands out. Financially speaking, don't stress that you've missed a market peak - look at the increase in value since you purchased the property, remember that you would have been renting had you not owned the property and lastly, if you are selling and buying in the same 'market' the differential should be relatively similar. If you're buying, don't expect massive price decreases or 'deals' or be unreasonable with your offer price and terms. Owning property continues to be a good investment over time and you can improve it with some smart renovations or updates and timely maintenance. Be wary of listings where the property is being sold 'as-is'. Mortgage providers do not like to see that term on a listing. If a property looks like the best deal on the market, there is usually a reason for that.

At the time I am writing this blog, there are some characteristics that are emerging in the southern Ontario freehold housing market.

- homes that are ready to move into, without much short-term investment required on the part of buyers, are selling quickly and at good prices. Buyers are not as eager to purchase 'fixer-uppers' as they once were. This is due to the additional financial hardship and uncertainly that can arise with a renovation project. 

- homes with unique property features such as backing onto a ravine or parkland, or are on larger lots than is normal for the neighbourhood are still popular.

- prices are relatively stable despite the increased inventory and longer selling cycles in most markets. Some sellers are letting their listings expire and not re-listing rather than discount their price expectations dramatically.

As always, if you want advice specific to your situation and needs, email me at so we can start that conversation.