Judy’s Crystal Ball

I am happy to let everyone know that the snow and ice have finally melted off my crystal ball, so gazing into the future, this may be a good indication that the real estate market may return to more traditional spring market activity. Given the exceptionally cold winter we experienced, I think many homeowners were staying warm and cozy in their homes and not considering selling. Our Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington verified that statistically our listing inventory was down 15.5% to the end of February. This reduction in available homes for sale is defining the current market activity as a strong seller’s market.

If you have been thinking of selling, opportunity is knocking at your door at the moment (pardon the pun). If you consider the supply and demand economic theory, it is natural then that prices have pushed higher as a response to the lack of listing availability when combined with the steady demand from buyers. The last available statistical analysis was from the end of February which identified year over year average sale price increased by 5%. This followed on the heels of January’s reported year over year average sale price increase of 11.1% — again, a very strong signal of an existing seller’s market. The question may be asked, “Why is there a shortage of available properties at this time?” Yes, the cold and snow, but beyond that, major consideration is our population demographic. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has identified that the Hamilton area has a larger percentage of older homeowners. Are we at a tipping point relative to potential properties coming available? There are a couple of interesting facts to consider: 1) the largest demographic in Canadian history is staying in their homes longer according the CMHC statistical data. They do not feel the same pressure to downsize as previous generations. 2) If the Baby Boomers did decide to move, the bigger question is where would they go? A condominium? A rental apartment? Bunking in with family? These are all interesting questions to consider.

Judy’s crystal ball sees substantial movement in the next couple of years. If you have been thinking of down- sizing, or selling your current home, my suggestion is to get ahead of the crowd. The market to sell is in your favour now.

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