Don’t Wait Until Spring! Now is the Right Time to Sell in Ontario
January 28, 2020
The weather may be cold but the real estate market in Ontario is hot, hot, hot for sellers. There is a shortage of supply in all major markets, which means now is the ideal time to list your home if you’re hoping to get top dollar and possibly multiple offers.
“Historically there are always more sales in the spring but what does not get recorded is the fact that there are many more listings on the market at that time. More homes on the market means more competition. More competition means more leverage for buyers. More leverage for buyers means lower selling prices for some sellers.” – Randall Weese, Purplebricks’ Broker of Record
Seller’s Markets in Ontario
In Toronto, listings are down 2.4% in 20191 but sales prices have increased 12% compared to 2018. This means that the shortage of listings is driving sales prices up. With an average selling price1 of $837,788, Toronto sellers can expect to receive top dollar for their home and likely multiple offers in this bustling city.
Another prime market for home sellers is Ottawa. The country’s capital is experiencing historically low supply which is driving prices up. If you are a buyer considering a move to Ottawa, now could be a good time. Even with inflated prices, Ottawa is still an affordable major city. The average selling price for a condominium-class property is $310,675, and the average selling price2 for a residential-class property is $500,306. There is an opportunity to sell in one of Ontario’s pricier markets, like the GTA, and buy in the less expensive Ottawa market.
Hamilton is also seeing a decrease in new listings and an increase in sales, which means there is low inventory on the market. There is a lot of competition from buyers and the Realtor® Association of Hamilton-Burlington recommended in their December 2019 Market Update report3 that now is the opportune time to sell your property in Hamilton.
Kitchener-Waterloo region can hardly keep homes on the market with a low average days on market at 23 days4. The 10-year average for this region is 38 days. KWAR President Colleen Koehler comments, “In 2019, the lack of supply continued to be a hurdle for anyone who was trying to buy their first home, move-up from their current residence, or downsize. This ongoing state of the market caused further escalation of home prices in 2019.” This is good news for sellers.
It is also an opportune time to sell in the London region. The London region’s overall sales-to-new-listings ratio has been climbing throughout the year; a sales-to-new-listings ratio over 60% is considered by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) to favour sellers. Earl Taylor, 2019 LSTAR President, commented5, "For the most part of the year, LSTAR's overall sales-to-new-listings ratio hovered around the 70% mark. However, toward the end of the year its value jumped significantly, to reach 110.1%. This means that sellers have the upper hand in home sales negotiations here. It also speaks to the high buyer demand and the lack of local housing supply."
Niagara region is experiencing tight supply, making it an increasingly challenging market for buyers. As of December 2019, year-over-year sales prices for detached homes6 were up 9.1%, townhomes rose 12.9%, and apartments increased 7.1%. Impressively, the dollar value of all home sales in December 2019 rose 29% year-over-year. Niagara homeowners are in an excellent position to sell.
Don't see your region? Check out the Canadian Real Estate Association's review of all Ontario markets7.
A Note for Homebuyers
What if you’re in the market to both sell and buy? One strategy to consider deploying is selling your home in a popular area and purchasing a home in a less major market. This would allow you to capitalize on the seller’s market, while avoiding having to purchase a high-ticket home in the same area. If you’re set on living in the same area, you could consider a home with a lower purchase price than your current home. This would allow you to put more money down on your new home allowing you to pay off your mortgage faster.
“In regard to selling high and buying low, the best examples of this are what I like to call “amateur house flippers”. They always buy a house in a good area with potential to make some minor changes and improvements, then are able to sell that home for a profit a couple years down the line when market conditions are right.” – Randall Weese, Purplebricks’ Broker of Record
What if you’re a first-time homebuyer? Although purchasing in a seller’s market without selling a home yourself isn’t usually recommended, the reality of our market is that home prices will likely keep going up. We have seen this in Ontario’s major markets where year-over-year prices are consistently increasing. Take December 2019 as an example, all major markets in Ontario saw average selling prices increase 7-15% year-over-year. If you find a home in your desired location within your target price range, you should jump on the opportunity to put an offer in. Just be prepared to potentially get into a bidding situation due to competition amongst buyers.
Don’t Wait to Sell
When spring arrives, more sellers will be listing their homes which can lead to the market having more balanced conditions. Although this is good for the market overall, if you’re selling your home, it would be best to take advantage of the seller’s market we are in. The real estate market goes through ebbs and flows and if you have the opportunity to capitalize on your biggest investment, why wouldn’t you? Spring has sprung early — don’t wait to sell!
Want to capitalize even more on the seller’s market? Purplebricks can help by saving you thousands in commission.
With Purplebricks, you will work with our team of experienced local REALTORS®, receive the very best exposure for your property across Canada's top home-listing websites (including REALTOR.ca), and save thousands in commission with a low, fixed fee! Why spend thousands in commission? If you’re ready to list your home with Purplebricks, call 1-855-999-9740 for more information.
1 TREB RELEASES DECEMBER MARKET FIGURES AS REPORTED BY GTA REALTORS® (Toronto Regional Real Estate Board)
2 Record-Breaking 2019 Closes Out Decade (Ottawa Real Estate Board)
3 RAHB REALTORS® Release December 2019 Market Statistics (REALTOR® Association of Hamilton-Burlington)
4 2019 A STEADFAST YEAR FOR HOME SALES IN KW (Kitchener Waterloo Association of REALTORS®)
5 2019 - the third best year in the history of lstar (London St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®)
6 Niagara Region home sales rise despite declining supply (Niagara Association of REALTORS®)
7 Ontario home sales mark strong finish to the year as supply hits lowest levels ever (The Canadian Real Estate Association)