The weather is absolutely lovely today, which might just encourage the remaining pile of snow to part from my driveway. And although the spring equinox is still a few days away, the spring real estate market in Toronto has already been underway for a couple of months.
Typical for the start of the year, things got rolling in mid January with many buyers wanting to make their home-buying New Year's resolutions a reality. Also typical, home sellers were a bit slower to join in the festivities, with many preferring to wait for warmer weather to better showcase their perennial gardens (instead of the mounds of browned snow in the yard).
What resulted was a shortage of homes on the market in Toronto's central and slightly east and west neighbourhoods (Leslieville, The Beach, High Park, Bloor West, etc). Multiple offers ensued, even on homes that did not have a predetermined offer date. Where are we at today? Average selling prices continue to be sitting higher than last year, with fewer numbers of transactions occurring, most likely attributable to the lower number of new listings. The following snippets from the Toronto Real Estate Board's mid-month report captures the key data:
Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,138 sales during the first two weeks of March 2011 – a 5% decrease compared to the first two weeks of March 2010. The number of new listings also dipped – down by 15% compared to the same period last year. The average price for transactions during the first 14 days of March was $460,196, representing a 4.6% increase compared to the first two weeks of March 2010.
The message to home sellers is that if you're thinking of making a move in the coming months, the time to list is right now. Remember there's nothing worse than finding out that all the buyers (and their agents) are already starting to spend their weekends at the cottage instead of coming to see your nicely prepared lawn and the for sale sign that ornaments it.
For buyers, particularly those starting to experience fatigue with the process, now is the time when the selection of listings tends to increase, so a little more patience might pay-off. There is also no need to be discouraged when you find out that your potential dream home has an offer date; not all homes are garnering multiple offers, or are being severely underpriced.
Call me anytime at 416-357-1059 to discuss further.