As the cold weather moves in, the temperature isn’t the only thing that’s dropping.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales dropped 1.9 per cent between August and September, making it three straight months that home sales were down in Canada. Meanwhile, the number of properties being listed continues to rise.
Looking ahead, the association predicts average home prices will continue to dip for the rest of the year and into 2024.
The translation? Buyers may have an advantage heading into the winter season.
“Recently, the real estate market has transitioned to a buyers’ market, providing homebuyers with more leverage and negotiating opportunities when it comes to purchasing real estate,” says Lindsay Lemierzewicz, a realtor with iPro Realty.
“This shift in market dynamics, combined with the approaching winter season, will certainly give buyers the advantage during the colder months ahead.”
Thinking of purchasing a home this winter? Here are five advantages you may find:
Traditionally, the real estate market is busiest in the spring, and many sellers have waited until the nicer Canadian months to list their properties. That doesn’t mean sellers are always more motivated if they list during the winter season, however. There are many reasons why a seller may choose to list their home. It could be for personal reasons, a lifestyle change or because of future needs.
However, in 2023, inventory trends indicate sellers may be more motivated since there are more listings than buyers. Sellers who understand that current competition, along with the hassle of keeping a home clean for showings during snowy winter months, are likelier to wait to list if they can. That means those who do forge ahead this winter may want to unload their properties quickly.
Just as current trends tell us homeowners may be more motivated to sell in the months ahead, they also indicate that fewer buyers are looking for their next home right now. That means that this winter, you’re less likely to enter a blistery bidding war with other buyers.
As a result, sellers are likelier to accept reasonable offers sooner, signing on that dotted line rather than waiting to see if another offer comes through if they wait it out.
Since the winter real estate market is typically slower than it is during other seasons, professionals associated with real estate purchases are also likelier to be slower than usual. That means realtors, mortgage brokers, lenders and lawyers may be able to help you find your dream home and complete a closing even faster than they would throughout the rest of the year.
You Can See the Home in Winter Action
If you’re buying a home in the winter, it’s true that you won’t be able to see and appreciate the full landscaping of a home. However, you can see how that home works in the cold weather. Winter is a good time to see how well a home is insulated, whether there is ice or snow buildup to factor in, how drafty the windows or doors are and how well heat distributes throughout the property.
If you’re looking at buying a home with maintenance fees, the winter is also an excellent time to see how well the associated services, like snow removal, work.
Hiring Movers May Be Easier
Not many people want to move their belongings during the cold Canadian months, but there is another advantage to buying a home in the winter: moving companies are also slower during this time of year. That means it may be easier to secure services than it would be in the spring. Often, more staff are available and companies may offer discounted rates or be more willing to negotiate to drum up your business.
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For more housing news and to see what’s trending, check out our Real Estate section.