2018 Wrap Up

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2018 Wrap Up

Season’s Greetings!

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, but years seem to just fly by!

As we wrap up 2018, we see a more “normal” market return. As a whole, the average sale price has rebounded about 5% from last December, which is pretty much what we have seen year over year since statistics were kept.

We have been sitting at just under 100 days’ worth of inventory and that creates as close to a “balanced” market as we ever know around here. A balanced market is defined as having as many listings as buyers. You need about 180 days of inventory for a true “balanced market”, but, in my experience, in our area, 90-100 days of inventory feel very “balanced”.

The new mortgages rules that came into effect on January 1, 2018 have had the desired effect of giving pause to buyers who applied for mortgages. By design, the “stress test” is meant to build in a buffer should the interest rates rise so that buyers will continue to be able to afford their homes. It did reduce buyers’ purchasing power by about 20% and many have had to re-assess their needs vs wants. I do think it put downward pressure on sale prices but historically the market has always eventually “absorbed” new rules and continued to grow. This time should be no different.

Until recently, interest rate hikes were expected throughout 2019. However, given the uncertainty of the oil industry in Alberta and the auto industry in Ontario, some say the Bank of Canada might reconsider interest hikes in 2019. That doesn’t change the fact though that, if you are going to be in the market in the next few months, it is very important to 1) get a solid pre-qualification. Do not assume anything. Know your numbers before you start shopping. And 2) lock in the current interest rate for 90-120 days as you shop. Remember that possession has to happen within that time for the rate to hold. If you miss your pre-qualification deadline, you may not be protected.

I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that I hold a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, and I am here to help you, your aging parents or grand-parents when the time comes to transition from the family home. I am also a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing which provides me with the tools needed to market homes in the upper end of the market. I, along with my network of professionals, am able to guide you through the entire process…. whatever your situation or your price point. Think of me as your resource and feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

As always, my tagline continues to be “bringing real service to real estate”…and I mean it! I hope to continue to help you on your real estate journey through 2019 and beyond.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas season and a New Year filled with joy!

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