As the snow leaves for good (fingers crossed!) and the weather warms up, the Toronto housing market heats up. Are you thinking about a new home this year?
Here are 3 things to think about when looking for a home this spring:
1) Prepare yourself for bidding wars: Have you noticed the streets of Toronto peppered with ‘For Sale’ signs? This is something we generally expect to happen as the weather warms up and people aren’t braving the polar vortex to go see a place. This time of year is traditionally when many people list their homes, and this year the numbers have increased by 5.5%. The Toronto Real Estate board recently released their figures for March, and unsurprisingly the market is hot. The average selling price for transactions in March was $613,933 – up by 10 per cent compared to 2014. Price growth was largely driven by low-rise homes, with detached residences jumping nearly 16% in price compared to last year! Particularly during this time of year, take into account that multiple bids on a property are a certainty.
2) Consider your long-term employment: I recently had a conversation with a client who purchased a condo specifically for the proximity to work, only to find himself in a completely different area at a new job 6 months later. The economy is different than it once was. Jobs—just like homes—are not always something people keep for life, especially when it’s their first one. Everyone always takes into account the commute to work, which is a huge factor, but many people don’t stop to think about how long they anticipate working for an employer. How long-term is your job? Research has found that since the year 2000, only 30 per cent of people stay at a job longer than 4 years. But we tend to stay in a home much longer than that. Think about both sides of the coin and balance your situation against your ideal location.
3) Scope out locations. Spring is the ideal time to get a feel for a neighbourhood, especially in the GTA! Once the weather warms up and people emerge from hibernation you can really get a sense of how people live and interact in an area. I always recommend that if you’re unsure about an area, take a drive through during late afternoon. You’ll see what it looks like when kids get out of school, people start to arrive home from work, they are out walking dogs and running errands. It’s a great way to get a sense of the community.
Need help finding a home in Toronto? Let’s talk about how we can help!
– The TC Team