Many buyers moved to the sidelines during the market frenzy and run-up in prices that we experienced through the last half of 2020 and first half of 2021. Nothing stays the same, however. The home buying landscape may be shifting just a bit and buyer opportunities could once again be present in the real estate market.
First of all, what is a shift and how do you spot one? Shifts are usually subtle unless they’re brought on by bank or government intervention. Then they can happen suddenly and overnight. We track statistics weekly and report on them monthly and quarterly. There are many indicators of market activity such as number of showings, number of sales, number of new listings, days on market, average list to sell ratios, average sold to new listing ratios etc. Changes in some or all of these numbers, even subtle ones, can indicate the beginnings of a shift.
A shift in the market may not be the same in all price ranges or geographical locations. In other words, it may not be across the board so you have to know where to look and recognize what the market is doing in the niche markets. You have to drill down and this is where an agent can help. Don’t paint the market with a broad brushstroke. You don’t want to be a buyer who thinks the market is slowing yet in the price range you’re buying, it’s still very hot! This is called misinformation and we see a lot of it in the industry.
Another thing to recognize is the kind of property you’re buying. Is it in high demand? You’ll need to have a grasp of what the supply and the demand is for the type of home you’re looking for. With a shift, some property types may cool off while others stay in high demand. You need to know the difference because this is where the opportunities lie. If you’ve been locked out of the market until now, you’ll want to identify where the opportunities are because this is what begins to quietly change with a shift; more opportunities begin to present themselves.
Even with a shift occurring, properties can still sell way over the asking price with multiple offers. These are the “in-demand” properties. Over the past number of years these have typically been the properties with the most bling. The ones that are super maintained and upgraded, that show pride of ownership, have nice yards, mature trees, great kitchens and baths and floor plans…these can still fly off the market because most people want them. However, the homes that don’t necessarily match this criteria may sit just a little longer on the market or may not receive multiple bids. Opportunity knocks with these listings. You need to know how to identify them.
Are you willing to do some fix-ups or repairs? If you’re a first-time homebuyer, mindset is key. You need to know this is not going to be your last home. This is going to be the property that launches you into the next one in five years or so. By then, if you do the right things and the economy cooperates, you’ll have a large down payment for your next home. This is how most Canadians have climbed the ladder of property ownership and equity. Not by starting at the top, but by starting towards the bottom and working up with each, successive move.
Lately, it seems almost impossible for many people to buy a home, but that could be changing. If you’ve been relegated to the sidelines over the past year perhaps now is the time to take a fresh look at it. Start with your financing. We work with some great lenders and their services, expertise and knowledge are absolutely free! Once you determine what kind of budget you have to work with, talk to your realtor or give us a call to discover what all your options are. If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s not so much what you buy, but getting that first home under your belt and out from under the burden of renting, that is important. Within five years you’ll be ready to move up with a lot more money and credit to work with!
Real Estate is also seasonal and pandemic and interest rate driven. Summer usually tends to be the slower season as Canadians focus on the 8 weeks provided for summer vacations and cottaging. Pandemic-driven means we are ready to break out from lockdowns and home buying may take a back seat to other important things on the bucket list as we emerge from being cooped up. Interest rate-driven means it a great time to buy a home with historically low rates providing more affordability to Canadians. If you were hoping to buy a home but were locked out or turned off by the recent market, the summer of 2021 may just well be the time to take a fresh look at it.
We offer a home-buyer consultation service that is completely free of cost or obligation. Give us a call at 905-442-5847 to book an appointment and let’s see what the possibilities are.