Does it make sense to list your house in winter?

In short, for this winter, it probably does! Here’s why.

Reasons to list your house this winter

If you’re thinking about selling your house in 2022, you might be tempted to wait out the winter and list in the spring. But the current strength of the seller’s market has turned that commonly held belief upside down. Some real estate experts are even proclaiming that winter is the new spring in terms of time to sell!

In a recent survey, the majority of real estate professionals who indicated a seasonal preference for selling said they’d advise their clients to sell this winter rather than wait until spring. Why? Because even if there are fewer buyers in the winter, it’s unlikely there will be enough inventory on the market to satisfy demand.

DEMAND ISN’T GOING AWAY

We did a market update about a month ago and not a lot has changed. While many people are calling on all levels of government to build new homes to satisfy demand, it will take time to find a solution. In the meantime, that demand isn’t going away. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, home sales in the Greater Toronto Area reached the second-highest level on record for the month of October even though the number of new listings was down by about a third compared to 2020. TThe average selling price for all homes combined rose by 19.3 per cent year-over-year to more than $1.15 million. Here in Durham Region, the average selling price for all homes combined was $988,000 which includes condos and townhouses.

This article lists the average selling prices in Durham, Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge and Whitby.  Uxbridge comes in with the highest average prices at $1.45 million while Brock is the lowest at $794,000.

The lowest average townhouse prices, however, among these areas is, perhaps surprisingly Uxbridge at $460,000. The highest is Pickering at $740,217.  For condos, the lowest prices can be found in Oshawa with the average price being $428,590. The highest condo prices in Durham are  in Uxbridge with average prices of $701,000.

These higher prices are also driving up rents as landlords buy properties at high prices and in turn need to charge exorbitant rents to make a reasonable return on their investment.

“Durham Region’s fall market is still very busy with increase in both listings and sales trending each month,” says Durham Region Association of REALTORS® President-Elect Meredith Kennedy. “The fall market seems to be balancing compared to last year but still showing that Durham Region reains a popular and desirable location for home buyers.”

INTEREST RATE HIKE

So, what’s on the horizon? The Canadian Real Estate Association expects significantly fewer MLS transactions in 2022, but still predicts the second-best year on record for Canadian home sales. It forecasts national home sales will fall by 12.1 per cent to about 577,000 units next year and the national average home price will rise by 5.6 per cent on an annual basis to about $718,000 in 2022.

An RBC Economics article, meanwhile, says home resales and prices indicate pent-up demand remains strong. “Canada’s housing market run has more in the tank,” it says. According to its housing market outlook released in November, it expects prices to flatten in the second half of 2022.

Meanwhile, many economists predict today’s near-record low mortgage rates will rise by April, giving prospective homebuyers eager to leverage their buying power plenty of motivation to continue their search now rather than waiting until the spring – another reason to consider selling this winter.

PREPARE YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE

Preparing your home for sale requires some elbow grease regardless of the time of year it’s listed but there are additional considerations when selling in the winter. Here are some tips

  • Clear and salt the driveway, the path to the front door, walkways and the deck so buyers can safely walk outside to experience the space.
  • Don’t overlook winter curb appeal. Upgrade your mailbox and house number. Add winter floral arrangements.
  • Lay down a large mat in your front entrance to help keep floors clean. Remove winter boots and coats from your hallway to make the area look bigger and so visitors have a clear space to enter.
  • Seal any drafts in windows and doors
  • Turn up the heat in your home to a comfortable temperature.
  • Keep outdoor lights on during showings. Let lots of natural light inside.
  • Include photographs of your home in other seasons of the year in the listing so prospective buyers can better imagine themselves in the property all year round.

HELPING YOU MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION

There are many important factors to consider when deciding when to list your home for sale. From setting a selling price using current information from your neighbourhood to marketing your home, please know that I am here to help you make an informed decision that’s best for you and your family. Check out my seller’s page for reasons why I should be your real estate agent of choice. Should you wish to list your house for sale this winter, why not start off with a free home evaluation? Just send me your name, email and telephone number via my home evaluation form and I’ll get in touch with you to get your house details and then send you a free evaluation. 

As the holidays quickly approach, I hope you enjoy the fun and festive activities and events our beautiful community has to offer. Please accept my sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa and best wishes for happiness and health in the New Year!

 

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