Traditional thinking is that once we move closer to the holidays, real estate activity slows down. 2015 was a notable exception, with an active market right through the winter season.
This year, a number of factors - the new foreign buyers' tax, stricter mortgage rules, etc. - have conspired to return us to the usual winter market slowdown. However, some areas and some price points in the Vancouver market are definite exceptions. I can personally attest to this, having been involved in two multiple offer situations within the past month. But then other colleagues are into their winter holidays now, since more often than not December can be a quiet time for home sales, and Realtors.
I wouldn't suggest listing your home this late in the year. If you're thinking of selling, however, it wouldn't hurt to be first out of the gate in early 2017. By the third week of January we’ll begin to see stirrings of activity again after the holiday lull. Listing your home in early February can attract those eager, serious buyers who are keen to buy – because they’re eager to get into a home, and/or want a jumpstart on other buyers entering the spring market. I already have a couple of listings queued up for February.
The flip side of listing and selling your home in early-mid February or so is that you’ll be buying your next home in a marketplace with more choices coming on the market every day as we move into spring. With a sale already booked on your current home, you can act decisively when the perfect next home appears. With your exact sale proceeds known, and financing sorted based on your net proceeds, you'll be in a strong position to make a compelling offer.
2016 was a time of significant change and uncertainty in our market. While these changing conditions will continue somewhat into 2017, I expect the market to settle and be more predictive as we move into the early months of the new year.
Thinking of selling or buying in 2017? Email me or call me at 604-328-9006 any time to discuss the right strategies for your situation. As a real estate advisor with 15+ years experience and close to 600 homes sold in all market conditions, I can help you successfully navigate our changing real estate landscape.
(This article was originally published in my December e-newsletter. Drop me a line if you'd like to subscribe.)