Or perhaps the right word is budding.
When you look at February’s year-over-year figures, it seems that the market is stable. Some say the market has found its bottom. And if the current trend is any indication of what’s to come in March, we should see a moderately busy spring market.
Comparing February 2019 to 2018 — sales are down slightly by 2.4%. New listings are down 6.2%. Properties listed for sale are down a touch at 0.6%. The average priced nudged up 1.6%. And it took 25 days on average to sell property.
But there are a few numbers we need to consider.
Take, for example, the number of properties coming up for sale in the market. A 6.2% decline is significant in the sense that fewer properties are available for sale, which inevitably leads to fewer sales which is what happened last month.
What would happen, month after month, if fewer and fewer homeowners decide to list their property on the market? Sales would decline further.
And though the average price seems to be doing okay, a lower number of properties for sale coupled with lower sales would result in just moderate price growth.
What remains staggering is the difference in price growth between the 416 and the 905. Condos in Toronto rose 7.4% compared to 3.1% in the suburbs. Semi’s in Toronto increased 10.5% compared to 4.1% in the 905. Detached homes in Toronto only nudged up 0.8% but declined 1.9% in the 905 areas. Townhouses in Toronto dropped 1.7%, and in the 905 it moved up slightly by 0.5%.
We could go on and discuss price movements, inventory and other factors, but predicting what could happen in the spring would be a challenge. We haven’t seen a market quite like this in a while. There are some parts of the city where activity is rampant. While sales are slow in others.
There are some properties selling in multiple offers. While some attractively priced properties just aren’t moving. In fact, there’s one street in Markham where two homes are listed — one underpriced and ripe for multiple offers, and another listed at market. I’m keeping my eye out on what happens so look out for a blog post about it soon.
My overall advice for the upcoming spring market?
The same as I always admonish you to do. Have a look at your lifestyle choice, weigh your options, and decide what your best move is. Unless you bought at the peak of the market, you’re likely sitting on a decent amount of equity.
With properties taking a bit longer to sell, you’ve got a great chance to find a home you like without losing it after a day of it being listed… unless it’s in a really hot area.
Time will tell — we’ll know next month if the spring market will ‘bloom’ the way we anticipate it to. Average prices should increase, as historically they do. More properties should come to market.
Ultimately, it’s up to homeowners to decide whether or not 2019 is the year for them to make a move. Let’s hope there’s enough of them who want to sell (and buy). The opportunities are definitely out there.