As the Bank of Canada announced today that interest rates will remain the same, I can hear a few of my buyer clients rumbling in frustration because that means that the market will stay a "Seller's Market". Mind you my Sellers are jumping up and down for joy! Buyers also have to remember that low interest rates make the home they buy more affordable.
Despite what you're hear in the media, the Toronto and area market isn't bad. In fact, it's pretty good! The challenge for buyers is finding good listings that are priced right. When those listings do come up, they go fast and for good money. We are again witnessing multiple offer situations. So, the market is doing quite well here in Toronto, and for that matter, Canada. A Real Estate trainer, Brian Buffini, who is in Toronto as I write this, said "The only thing wrong with the Canadian Real Estate Market is American TV!". It's so true! The number of people who have approached me afraid that their home values have fallen is incredible. They are pleasantly surprised when I let them know that in fact their home values have risen.
How the Media is misleading the public is with how the statistics are presented. For example, for November, you'll see headlines like "Real Estate Down 13%!" or "Toronto Real Estate Market Down!". It's not false information, in fact it's quite accurate. The part they're not putting in the headlines is exactly WHAT is down. The truth is that the number of sales were down by 13% as well as the number of new listings coming out (also down 13%). However, the average price year over year was up by 5%!
For buyers, this means that they're going to have to be patient (if they're in a situation where they can be). But this patience will pay off! The house you want will come up for sale and you will love it! You may have to compete for it, but it will come. If you don't get the first one you bid on, well, your turn will come as long as you are fairly aggressive with your offers. A good Agent will be able to guide and lead you in deciding how to proceed in a situation where there are multiple offers for the same home. One of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make is purchasing a home out of frustration. If what you're looking for is realistic, it'll come. If what you're looking for is not realistic, a confident and knowledgeable agent will be able to tell you that what you are looking for (size, style, location and price) is not realistic. In that case, buyers usually need to adjust at least one of their criteria. So patience is the key here and common sense.
For Sellers, this means that if you properly prepare your home for the sale, and then price it correctly from the start, it will mean a successful sale where your home will be on the market only a short period of time and will realize it's full potential as far as the amount of money the home will sell for. The three critical things to achieve this is preparing the home, correct pricing and most importantly smart, proper and quality marketing. Statistics have shown that simply putting a sign on the lawn and having the house on MLS isn't necessarily a formula for sale. Even in the best markets, there are many more listings on MLS that don't sell than that do sell. Even if it did sell, did the home get the money it deserved?
We are fortunate that in Canada, we are faring much better than the United States in Real Estate Values. There are a number of reasons for this which is a whole other topic. But, barring any unusual event, the Real Estate market should stay quite healthy for the foreseeable future. Of course, there are always those who "predict" that Real Estate values will come down. Well, yes, that's possible.. but there are also Real Estate experts that predict an average 6% increase per year over the next 10 years! In 10 years time.. we'll see who was right.. but for now.. live in the present. Buy and sell your home with confidence. Buy and sell your home with a competent Realtor and if you're buying... remember.. be patient.. don't buy out of frustration. It will come... it will come.