Today TREB released the sales statistics for September. As I noted recently, sales activity has been up significantly this year, and September continued that trend: sales volume was up 30% over September, 2012. At the same time, the number of both new and active (total) listings were down. That led inevitably to higher prices, which climbed 6.5% year-over-year.
Interestingly, while the number of active listings in September (20,194) was higher than August (18,788), the number of sales was lower (7,411 sales in September after 7,569 in August). So, the seasonal increase in listings has begun, but not to the satisfaction of buyers. As I’ve said for years now, buyers make the best decisions for their circumstances (budget, location, etc.), and won’t over-pay for a property that doesn’t offer them the value they are looking for. Buyers are still ‘picky’ – and rightly so. The message to sellers? Properly prepare your property for sale (declutter, clean, complete minor repairs, paint, etc.), and price to market! Don’t just assume that because it’s a ‘hot’ market you’ll get your price.
As has been widely discussed, an important factor driving the real estate market is super low interest rates. We’ve known for some time that rates would stay low through 2014, and perhaps beyond. According to this article, one major Canadian bank expects low rates all the way to 2016. That’s good for home owners, investors, renovators, etc.
Overall, the key point is that there is still lots of pent up demand this year- just as there has been since the recession ended – and low interest rates to help keep prices affordable. October will be another strong month for sales and price appreciation. In fact, we could see the ‘fall market’ steam on through November – especially if the weather holds up. All in all, whether you want to buy or sell (or both), this fall is going to be a great time to do that. Call me now and let’s get started!