Megann  Willson

Megann Willson


HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., Brokerage

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What's happening in the Toronto spring market?

Ask any seasoned REALTOR®, and they’ll tell you that business picks up in spring. As soon as the weather improves, people want space to enjoy the fresh air. Whether that’s a balcony or a back yard, it happens. Being cooped up inside over the winter also makes people more likely to want to have a bit more space. Finally, lots of families want to move during the summer break, so they’re going to start looking now, especially if they need to sell one home and buy another.

Are there any other reasons to expect an increase in activity this spring? TRREB says that buyers seem to have adjusted to the increased interest rates, and activity is picking up. As a result, new listings are on the increase, but take note: homes are taking longer to sell than they were at this time last year. Different neighbourhoods are picking up at different rates. Much like how restaurants will cluster together because activity increases where there is increased competition, when listings start appearing in a neighbourhood, others tend to follow. If your street is still experiencing the winter doldrums, you will probably notice a change once the first few lawn signs appear.

Should buyers wait a bit longer for lower interest rates to return? Even if interest rates fall, it won’t be rapidly. The Bank of Canada is being very cautious in its pursuit of its inflation target. Remember, that target, set at the beginning of the rate hikes, is 2%. The other thing buyers should keep in mind, is that when rates do decrease, activity will go in the opposite direction. Competition will pick up, and we’ll start to see more bidders coming to the table for properties. Supply lags demand, so there will be upward price pressure. My advice to buyers is that if you’re currently in a position to buy, it’s a good time to do so, assuming you can find what you want. One buyer I’ve been working with made a purchase with no competitors at the table – a much stronger position when it comes to conditions and thoughtful decisions.

And if you’re a seller? Prepare for a longer sale period. Homes are taking longer to sell, in many neighbourhoods. But they will sell, because if there is one immutable fact of real estate, it’s that any property will sell, if it’s priced appropriately for the market.

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