Is now a good time to buy a house? First, as we begin to wrap up and say goodbye to 2020, it’s a great time to look back at this crazy year, and what a year it was.
None of us could have predicted what would happen to the housing market during the Coronavirus pandemic that spread across the world, and we were all in for a pretty wild ride.
For many Canadians the challenges of job loss, home schooling and working from home presented many ups and downs that we’re still trying to figure out.
But with the challenges came some opportunity – many have taken advantage of this time to get into the real estate market for the first time or upgrade their current living situation for something better suited to a new and improved way of life. Interest rates have also continued to stay at a historic-low in order to help stabilize the Canadian economy while COVID-19 rages on.
But while some buyers were able to get into a home, many others were left losing bidding wars and had to give up on their dream home. Some even had to sell their homes in order to stay afloat. So, the question remains: is it a good time to buy a house in Canada? What real estate trends are emerging and why should you take advantage of them?
We came across this fantastic article in Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine that we thought very articulately outlined what’s happening across Canada. I wanted to share some of the article with you as it provides a very well-rounded snapshot of the current Canadian real estate market.
How has the Coronavirus affected the housing market in Canada?
Despite the novel Coronavirus putting everything on hold, there were still real estate records being broken in cities all across the country, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver, and Montreal to name a few.
As mentioned above, while many feared losing their jobs and steady income to support their family and keep their houses running, many others found the global pandemic a great opportunity to buy. Many buyers were able to purchase a first home or upgrade to homes located outside of the city (work from home = no need to live near work) because of the lower home prices, affordable mortgage rates, and being able to get much more for their money.
Many of my clients took advantage of the market throughout the spring, summer and fall. Some moved from their condo to large detached homes outside of the city, and some first time buyers took advantage of the low interest rates and a little help from their folks to purchase their first condo.
Some clients took advantage of the low deposit structures to get into the super-hot pre-construction market – something that we likely won’t see again for some time.
Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
The housing market in Toronto has reached new heights too after the global pandemic took its toll on office workers and real estate investors. As stated in a November report by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), home sales in the GTA were up more than they ever have been for four consecutive months.
In October alone, TRREB members reported 10,563 home sales compared to 8,445 in October 2019. The average price for all types of homes combined reached $968,318, an increase of 13.7 per cent from the same time last year. The demand for single-family housing in the GTA has drastically increased, so bidding wars are being taken to a whole new level because supply is so low.
The condo market in Toronto has seen records being broken too. As the Toronto residential housing market has been doing really well, condos haven’t necessarily seen the same light, particularly in the downtown core. Sellers are even seeing their condo listings sit for months compared to just a few days this time last year.
The reason? The demand for renting has drastically gone down because students haven’t physically been returning to school, immigration has come to a halt, and travel is a no-go for those offering an Airbnb. In fact, condo sales saw a year-over-year decrease of 8.5 per cent.
So … is it a good time for you to buy a house?
Well, ultimately, it depends on a few factors. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, downsizing, or an experienced real estate investor, some of the most important things you will want to consider are:
– The current interest rates being offered by various lenders
– What your mortgage rate will be
– Where you’re looking to buy
– The current home prices (and if you are in good financial standing with your bank)
– The current state of the housing market
– If it’s a buyer or seller’s market
We always think December is one of the best month’s to buy a home. If a house is listed for sale during December, in the middle of a pandemic, right before the holidays, there is usually a good reason. Perhaps the seller has purchased a new home and has to sell. Perhaps there is a job relocation to consider.
If a seller is selling in December, they’re likely more motivated than during any other month of the year. So why not take a shot and see if you can find your dream house when not very many others are looking.
Because of the Coronavirus, many sellers have been nervous to sell, but even while the pandemic has put everything on hold, it seems like many people have been eager to get into the market.
So, if you are financially set and ready to move into your new dream home or look for your first home, now just may be the right time.
If you’re interested in seeing what’s currently available in your dream neighbourhood, simply complete our form below with your details. We’d be happy to do a search for you based on your new-home criteria – condo, house or semi. It’s good to know what’s available, even if you’re thinking about looking in the New Year.