It’s the big question on every Markham homeowner’s mind. Even if they aren’t thinking of selling. There are very few homeowners who haven’t thought about listing their house for sale in Markham because of the incredible increase in real estate prices the city has enjoyed over the past few years.
Who can blame them? The price increases meant that many homeowners might get two or three times more than what they paid for their home if they sold it.
A little uncertainty has crept into the question of whether to sell following Ontario Government legislation to bring more stability to the market, including a foreign buyer tax, stricter rules against real estate speculation, and a vacancy tax.
Basically everyone, including realtors, real estate industry watchers and homeowners alike, wait every month for market statistics to give them some indication of the effect, if any, of all the new rules.
So far, while it can’t be said that the market is the same as it was earlier in the year, the legislation hasn’t produced any earth-shattering changes. While the headlines trumpeted double-digit decreases, they were mainly referring to drops in the number of housing units sold, not prices.
Here’s a quick look at some real estate numbers, from the Toronto Real Estate Board, comparing March 2017, the peak before the new legislations came into force, with October, 2017.
The average price for homes of all types is down about 15%, BUT most of that decline, almost 9%, happened in the first two months. On the plus side, prices have increased almost 2% since October 2016, and they rose almost 8% between September and October 2017. In other words, prices have been generally stable since the introduction of the legislation, and they are showing signs of improvement.
As we said, most of the headlines about any recent drop in the real estate market were talking about sales volume, or the number of homes sold.
The number of homes sold in October (265) is less than half what it was in October 2016, (548).
What Does it all Mean if You Want to List Your House for Sale in Markham?
Based on the numbers listed above, and the overall real estate market, there are lots of reasons to think that this is as good a time as any to sell.
1. House Prices are Still Near Historic Highs
While price drops of 10% or 15% are not small, they seem small in comparison to the 200% price increases that we’ve enjoyed over the past decade.
2. Sales Volumes are More Realistic
Yes, numbers of units sold are down significantly, but that was from a historic high. The SNLR, or sales-to-new-listings ratio, is used to help determine if the market is more favourable to buyers than sellers. Expressed as a percentage, anything above 50% is a sign of a sellers’ market, anything below 50% is considered a buyers’ market. An SNLR of between 40% and 60% is considered relatively normal and stable. In October 2016, the SNLR in Markham was 68.9%. In March 2017, it was 71%. The most recent SNLR for Markham, 47.7% in October 2017, indicates a more stable and realistic market.
3. Mortgage Rates Still Near Historic Lows
With all the hubbub of lower volumes, which actually might be better for the overall market, there’s not been that much attention paid to the fact that, at 1%, the Bank of Canada rates, which affect home mortgage rates, are just a half a percentage point above their historic lows. That means mortgages are still a bargain.
There are lots of signs that say this is as good a time as any to list a house for sale in Markham. If you’d like to learn more, and even put your house on the market, please call us here at The Stephen Tar Team.