If you are buying or selling a Windsor Ontario home this spring, then you want to take a minute and read the Spring Market Report that was just released within the last few days. Many interesting changes have occurred in the Canadian real estate market in the past several months, some of which involve Mother Nature as well as our improved economy. Here are a few highlights:
1. Not surprisingly, the weather has slowed the start of the normally busy and active spring market real estate season. The frigid temperatures are to blame for keeping buyers inside and away from house hunting. However, now that we are warming up a bit, buyers are starting to make appointments.
2. It’s a seller’s market in many towns and cities as housing inventory has slowed. This is very good news for those selling in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto area. Buyers may be surprised to find homes are selling quickly and going for top dollar.
3. Thanks to an improved economy in manufacturing, natural resources and infrastructure projects, we can expect to see real estate growth throughout the country in 2014.
But what does this mean to Windsor Ontario home buyers and sellers?
Again, weather played a key role in our local real estate market. Certainly when temperatures drop below freezing for sustained periods of time, you will find all areas of the economy suffer, particularly home sales. With the worst winter on record in over 100 years, it’s not surprising that first quarter sales for 2014 fell 15 percent. While residential home prices fell 1.8 percent since March 2013, Windsor found itself in a seller’s market with a low inventory of homes available. However, as the report indicates, the market should balance when the weather improves.
The good news for sellers? Windsor home prices are expected to increase on average of 3 to 4 percent from last year. However, again because of the cold temperatures, the busy spring real estate market is a few weeks behind schedule. We are expecting it to get busier in the coming weeks.
Without a doubt, this is encouraging news for both Windsor buyers and sellers. While homes may sell quickly due to lower inventory, there are still plenty of excellent opportunities for buyers. What the report also indicates is that in the Windsor/Essex housing market, the largest group of buyers were those purchasing homes for the first time. Due to affordable homes and the low-cost of living, according to the report, the Windsor area is attractive to these cost conscious buyers. But retirees are also moving here for the same reason, as they want to see their retirement income stretch as much as possible while living close to water and other activities.
To support these facts, single family homes saw the most activity, with 342 units being sold of the 403 properties sold in March. Homes priced under $180,000 were slightly more active than those priced higher. Again, the market indicates that prices will rise a modest 3 – 4 percent this year.
So the good news is that the Canadian real estate market is recovering and even foreign buyers looking for investment properties and/or second homes are noticing. While a weakened Canadian dollar is one incentive for this particular group of buyers, home prices are affordable and confidence is up which are great ingredients for a healthy market in 2014.
If you are thinking of buying or selling this year in Windsor, or even if you are a homeowner, this report should be of interest. For questions or additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or drop me an email.