Did the Spring Market Ever Really End?

Wednesday Sep 04th, 2019


Did the Spring Market Ever Really End?

REALTORS always like to talk about the spring and fall markets, traditionally the busiest seasons in Toronto real estate. In 2019, the spring market took forever to start, but it continued strong throughout the summer months. In July, the Toronto Real Estate Board stats reflected a 24% increase in sales activity too.  Will high summer sales slow down the fall selling season?

I don’t think so. I think we experienced a busier-than-usual summer because of:

  1. Pent-up Buyer demand from the slow-down in 2017. Buyers were (understandably) nervous after the stress test and the non-resident tax took their toll on the market (which was the exact goal of those policies). We’ve seen Buyers gain confidence this year and re-enter the market.
  2. Pent-up Buyer demand from the slow start to 2019. Terrible winter weather and a late spring meant a lot of winter/spring Buyers held out until summer to buy.
  3. A more reasonable Seller’s market.Toronto is most certainly still in seller territory – meaning there are still not enough homes for sale to meet the demand from buyers, but things haven’t been as crazy as usual. Sure, great homes and neighbourhoods have been getting multiple offers and are usually sold in a week and prices are increasing – but it’s not at the frenetic pace of a few years ago.
  4. Continued low interest rates.Borrowing money is still cheap and if you’ve got a downpayment, buying still makes more sense than renting for most people.

The CMHC First Time Home Buyer Incentive Program Kicks In September 2nd

CMHC’s new shared equity program for first-time homebuyers kicks in on September 2nd, making homes priced under $565,000 more affordable.

Tightening Market Conditions

I’ve been watching the number of sales increase disproportionately to the number of new and active listings – meaning there is less inventory on the market. Eager home Buyers who didn’t find what they wanted in the summer have been anxiously awaiting the influx of new listings in September.

So…more bidding wars?

Yes. We predict that properly priced, staged and marketed properties will continue to generate multiple offers well into the fall season. The hot neighbourhoods will be hotter than ever and there will be pressure on prices in the still-affordable neighbourhoods. But this won’t be a return to 2016, when any property would sell for 10% or more of the asking price. Sellers still need to do the work and pick the right REALTOR in order to get top dollar. 

Wildcard: What in the World?

One of the big, uncontrollable factors that might impact the Toronto real estate market is what’s happening globally. Will Trump’s trade war with China escalate and impact other economies? Will Trump turn his (evil, racist) eyes towards trade with Canada?

World economies are always a wildcard and it’s an especially weird time in the world right now.

And then, of course, there’s the Canadian federal election and the promises that will lead up to that.

So should you buy or sell a home this fall?

Our answer to this question never changes: trying to ‘time’  the market is next-to-impossible.

If the reason you’re thinking of buying or selling relates to personal goals – for example, you want to move to a bigger space to accommodate your growing family or change neighbourhoods – then, by all means, live your life. Talk to your REALTOR about your goals and timelines and make a plan to make it happen.

If financial goals are motivating a move  – for example,  you want to cash out of the market and need the funds to retire – it’s always best to buy and sell in the market you know than the one you don’t. If the current market conditions and prices allow you to reach your financial goals, go for it.