Ask The Agent – Prudential Real Estate- Alexx Coelho, Broker
Alexx is a Licensed Real Estate Broker- Senior Director of the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board – Fine Homes Specialist Designation from Prudential Real Estate- GreenBroker(tm) designation from the National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB)
Question: Is there a good season or time of the year to buy a resale home, bargain wise?
The short answer to this question is simple. The best time to buy a home is whenever you are ready, financially, emotionally, or otherwise, to take that step.
The long answer is, there are a flurry of factors that affect the salability of a home, and whereas time of year is certainly one of them, the resale housing market over the last couple of years has been far more influenced by global economic factors than the weather, greener grass on the lawns, or how well staged a home was.
Sales in 2008 and 2009 were too erratic due to the global economic climate, and don’t truly answer this question in its general terms. To answer this, we have to look at a year of sales like 2007, which displayed a typical sales pattern from January to December.
The typical perception is that sales are slow through the winter (who wants to buy a house covered in snow), and strong through the spring (all those pretty flowers in bloom certainly make a home more attractive). The summer time quiets down a bit (vacation anyone?), followed by a surge in September and October (kids are back to school, let’s move), and the cycle repeats. It’s pretty accurate for most years.
But when is the best time to buy? Spring, when there are more listings to choose from, and more buyers to compete with? Or winter, when there isn’t as much selection, but not as many buyers out either.
Statistically speaking, this can be calculated by looking at the absorption rate (this is the number of homes that have sold in comparison to the number of homes available for sale). The smaller the percentage, the more likely you’ll find a seller willing to bargain. Based on this, from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s published statistics for 2007, January is the best month to buy, followed by September, December and February. May and June are the worse, based on this statistic. (
Data below compiled from Toronto Real Estate Board’s sales statistics for 2007)
|Month||Active Listings||Sales||New Listings this Month||Sales/Active|
So there you go, statistically, January is the best time to buy a house across the GTA. Practically speaking, this comes with a BIG if and only if, you are ready to do so.
There are many other factors that affect your decision to buy a home. Questions that you should ask yourself, and have answers for, before taking the step to buy a home: How healthy are your finances? What are mortgage rates like? Are there homes available in your price range? Are they located in the right areas that suit your lifestyle? Do you have a plan? Do you have a personal budget that factors in all aspects of your life? How will mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, utilities fit in to your monthly bills? Answers to all these questions are far more important than “when should I buy a house?” when it comes to the security of your long term investment and enjoyment of your home.
Alexx Coelho, Broker
Prudential Town Centre Realty Inc.