The time of year plays a big part of your home buying options, regardless of the particular housing market where you want to live. For many prospective buyers, looking for a home this is the best part of the process. For others, it’s the most frustrating.
Real estate is a cyclical industry, and when looking for a home, you should be aware of where your timeline falls in that cycle. Once you have your mortgage pre-approval in hand, you have a few months of flexibility, but depending on market forces, that flexibility may or may not work in your favour.
If you’re looking in a market that’s moving very quickly, you might not have the luxury of waiting until your ideal property comes on the market at the ideal time. It’s often the wisest move to just start looking at everything available in your price range and see if you can work with whatever you find. In this scenario, the time of year matters less to you, because prices are typically high, the number of homes on the market is generally low, and a combination of these two factors leads to a lot of competition between people looking for homes – investors and primary homebuyers alike.
If your local housing market is much more balanced, however, then time may be on your side. There are natural highs and lows based on seasonal factors, and pros and cons to buying in each period.
Based on actual data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) compiled from 2007-2016 (as opposed to adjusted data, which employs a statistical technique that attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns), the highest number of residential listings occur in May 2016 with an average of 94,746. The lowest number of residential listings tend to be in December, with 30,870. It should come as no surprise that the months with the highest number of sales follows the month with the highest number of listings, and the month with the lowest number of sales corresponds with the lowest number of listings. May and June tend to have the highest number of sales, with 53,132 and 50,742, respectively, and December typically has the lowest number of sales each year, at 23,458.
(Kimberly Greene – Which Mortgage – http://www.whichmortgage.ca)