When is the best time to buy a house?
Media headlines have consistently had real estate market headlines stirring the emotions of homeowners and buyers. A common theme in these headlines is that a bubble is here or coming soon. Expressing real estate market volatility is a way to get more viewers and get more clicks. For those buyers who stayed on the sidelines over the last couple of decades – they have missed out on a staggering amount of housing value appreciation. It’s no wonder that we field a vast number of questions about the timing of buying a home.
One of the most frequently asked questions from our buyers is: “when is the best time to buy a house?” We get it. In many cases, people are either: 1) looking to get the best “deal” on the price or; 2) they want to ensure that they have the best selection of houses coming to market. Considering that the deal and greatest selection are paramount for most of our buyers, we will dive into the topic to best explain when the best time to buy a house is in Toronto.
The Most Important Factor
The most honest and truthful response that we can give, and always state first, is: the best time to buy a house is when you are ready. Full stop. Don’t try to market time. It’s impossible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The simple fact is that no one can predict the future.
What does “ready” to buy mean?
- You are motivated to buy. You are excited to take the next step on the property ladder.
- You have the necessary financing in place. In other words, you have spoken to a trusted mortgage broker to confirm that you can purchase what you want. Your financial picture is clear.
- With the help of a top-notch, professional realtor, you determine that you are comfortable with the time-frame of ownership and the potential risks of purchasing.
- Do you love the house that you have seen on the market? If so, let’s get it!
Waiting for a “deal” can mean you miss out on a lot of great opportunities. The Toronto real estate market hasn’t had many options for a “deal” in 20+ years. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we see the “deals” that were to be had. But that doesn’t help you today. Looking for deals in a strong/hot real estate market is very difficult.
Please make no mistake about it; you need a lot of hard work and an even larger dose of luck to get a deal.
The reality in a strong seller’s real estate market is that the buyer must pay more than the other buyers. In most cases, the purchaser has to pay a higher price than the previous comparable home price. It may not be a comfortable reality, but it’s essential to accept it as a fact in order to move forward and purchase a great house.
Greater Selection of Listings
If our clients want to know the best time to buy a house in terms of the number of available listings, then we can clearly state that there are two primary markets. There isn’t’ necessarily a better time of year to purchase, but there are certain perennial aspects to keep in mind.
- The Spring real estate market runs as early as the third week of January through to the third week of June. This is when we see the longest duration of a market and the most significant number of listings and sales. We typically see the largest value increases due to demand as well.
- The Fall real estate market begins after the long weekend in September. Kids are back in school, and we see an uptick in listings and buyer activity. The Fall market slows down towards the end of November and the first week of December. As you can see, the duration is shorter, which impacts the number of new listings and total sales.
A myriad of factors impacts the best time to buy a house. We always give our clients what they need to know, then encourage an open dialogue to clarify where their views and perspectives are, what goals they have and ultimately decide on the best approach to move forward with. We believe that the home buying process should be fun and enjoyable along the way. After all, we are talking about an incredible lifestyle decision that can positively impact your life moving forward!