The 16-point plan and beyond...

Seeing into the Crystal Ball

The real estate market for freehold homes has cooled significantly over the last few months. Since the government of Ontario introduced the 16 point plan many buyers have chosen to put their search on hold. Less buyers mean less bidding wars.

At the beginning of the year, almost all homes that were aggressively listed were generating multiple offers. But times have changes. These days, when five houses are listed in the neighbourhood in the same price range, the best one shines while the others sit on the market (sometimes for weeks or months). We’re seeing lots of price changes too—increases on failed bidding wars, and reductions when no offers come in.

Sellers are having to adjust expectations because February and March prices are long gone. Unfortunately, we don’t know we’re at the peak until prices fall, and we won’t know we’re at the bottom until prices rise. Many claim to be able to predict the market, but no one can.

At this point, listing low and selling high usually backfires. Most buyers are tired of the bidding wars and there is plenty of inventory so they can choose to wait. I’ve been advising my clients to list at a price they are willing to accept.

What I tell my buyer clients is the same thing I’ve told them since I got into the business: If you’re buying your first property, it has to be a home, not just an investment. If you’re planning on buying something and flipping it in the next couple years, now is not the time.