AD{TS3504667} 12 The Toronto Sun n FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17 & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2014

Fall market forecast? Mainly sunny

With the summer season behind us we?re looking forward to fall with renewed hope for a prosperous home-selling season. So what can we expect in the upcoming months? Statistically speaking, September and October have proven to be strong real estate months and mortgage rates during this time of year should remain comfortably affordable. The Bank of Canada announced that interest rates won?t deviate from 1%, therefore, buyers eyeing more expensive homes will be happy to hear that the low interest rates will pave their RANDALL WEESE

TIPS AND TRENDS

way to get approved for large mortgage amounts. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, active listings are down 4.8% this August, compared to last August, and sales are up 2.6 % for the same time period. Despite the fact that interest rates will remain on the lower end of the spectrum, we?ll still be living in a seller?s market with low inventory and an abundance of buyers on the prowl. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index suggests that the increase in property demand can be linked to heightened consumer confidence due to a current sense of job security. So what can we expect with regards to housing prices? In 2013, the number of days on market in The Greater Toronto Area was 27 and the average sale price jumped from $502,000 in August to $533,000 in September and then to $539,000 in October. Although there?s no reason to believe that housing prices would see a 6.1% increase after Labour Day again this year, data from the Toronto Real Estate Board suggests that we?re heading into the fall season with an average sale price that?s 2.6% higher than where we ended off last September. Despite the rise in housing prices, buying a property remains affordable for buyers who are now able to sell their homes at a higher price point and leverage their new found equity to purchase more expensive properties. In case you?re worried that back-to-school will have a negative impact on the market, rest assured this is not the case. Despite the popular belief that families only move in the summer, to avoid disrupting their children?s school schedule, there are many families who are actively looking to buy a home each and every fall. They could either be families with young children who are not yet in school, expectant parents or families looking to downsize as their kids leave home for university. While the fall season is getting a thumbs up for home selling, sellers planning an open house, or two, are cautioned to choose their dates wisely. Remember to steer clear of the upcoming holidays. Avoid scheduling your event on long weekends, when people are likely to travel out of town, on American Thanksgiving, when potential buyers race across the border for a shopping spree, and on Halloween, when the hunt for candy takes precedence over the search for a new home. If you?re required to sell your home this season (to relocate for work, etc.), current market conditions indicate that the timing is in your favour. You?ll also enjoy the added benefit of knowing exactly what to expect. If, on the other hand, you?re in no rush to sell and you find yourself on the fence as to whether or not you should list your property this fall, consider this: Since we can?t predict what the future holds, selling in autumn is a safe bet. It?s currently a seller?s market with high housing prices and little competition due to low listing inventory. Hesitant and willing to gamble that spring market conditions will be more favourable than current conditions? While chances are that there will be more buyers in the springtime, there will also be many more listings, which means increased competition. So why wait when you can take advantage of a strong seller?s market right now? Sometimes good timing (combined with a bit of good judgement) is all you need to skew the odds in your favour and lead you to a successful outcome. ? Randall Weese is Broker of Record for the ComFree Commonsense Network brokerage in Ontario, providing homeowners with real estate services. For more information, visit http://comfree.com, @ comfreerandall.

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