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Ritch's Real Estate News
News and Views on the Local Real Estate Market
Why Winter Real Estate Transactions Work!
Wednesday, 13 January 2016, 10:05:00 AM

Why would anyone want to sell their house in the middle of winter?


Its a terrific question! Why would anyone want to consider selling a home now?

The snow is falling, nobody wants to trudge out in boots and coats through snow banks and slush! 

Let me explain some thoughts with respect to Real Estate sales in Halton Hills, Erin Township and the Western GTA in general.


Lets start with some basic facts:

  • In general we have just finished another terrific year of Real Estate activity in this market. Unit sales are up, average prices have risen by 10% over last year.
  • Ontario jobs have begun to rebound and while there are still a number of concerns regarding overall economy health, Ontario added thousands of full time manufacturing jobs in the fourth quarter of 2015
  • Low oil prices in general help Ontario as an oil consumer rather than producer. Heating fuels and transportation costs are cheaper, making Ontario more competitive globally for the products manufactured here. 
  • Ontario and in large part the western GTA remains a preferred destination for many of the country's new immigrants allowed into the country.
  • For the third year in a row we in this market will be looking at low inventory conditions for resale listings. There are more qualified buyers seeking resale homes than listings available, making the process of selling easier than finding a suitable home to purchase.
  • Interest rates are at or near all time lows and there is no reason to believe that large scale increases are looming, moderate and gradual increases may be on the horizon, but most experts agree that this is not to be expected until late this year.
  • There just isn't enough new home building to keep up with the demand for homes in this area. A few small scale projects are under way, and a rather large scale one will begin over the next five years on the property west of 8th line. The truth is we have been adding new builds in the area at an alarmingly slow rate. Ask any builder if they could sell a new 10,000 home subdivision in Halton Hills? They would jump at the chance!

So why do these facts have anything to do with listing in the middle of winter?

  1. The spring market is setting up to be extraordinarily busy once again this year, prices likely will rise rapidly in the early part of the year, then flatten out a bit as the US Election campaign ramps into high gear. As most folks selling a home are also by default needing to buy a home as well, the process of buying will become most difficult over the spring months. Well listed homes will receive tremendous activity, and multiple offers and over list sales will become very frequent. As most buyers are unwilling to move until they have found a suitable new home, they are looking hard right now. 
  2. Buyers searching at this time tend to be very serious, they are looking hard to find that new home before listing their current one, and know that the later into the spring it gets while there will be more listings - competitive buyers out there will also increase.
  3. Sellers listed in the middle of winter have fewer showings, but with more serious buyers. Showing a home is what every seller wants to happen...however this tends to get very difficult especially if you have children, as in the spring months you can have 3-4 showings each evening and open houses all weekend. It can be exhausting, in January and February you wont have that frequency, but the buyers are very serious and have selected yours as one they wish to see....can you say stress reduction?
  4. One of the most compelling reasons to be on the market early is the law of supply and demand. The frequency of new listings peaks in the spring, and unless your home is one of a kind...the number of similar properties on the market as compared to yours has a direct relationship to the price you will ultimately get. Many Realtor's will go on an on about what your neighbors got in the fall, and that will be the primary basis for the suggested list price, I am much more focused on what do buyers have to choose from now? In a market like ours, there are always buyers seeking homes that suit their needs, yours will be more valuable if it is one of 2 or 3 available properties on the market, waiting until spring while yes there are more buyers out there, there could be 30 -40 competitive listings to choose from and buyers will be more willing to lose out on a good one because there are others around as well.


Ultimately, in my opinion, wintertime offers both buyers and sellers a more stress reduced environment, where you have some time to look carefully at what you want, negotiate a good deal, and sell your home to serious buyers seeking the same. 



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