Market Notes: When should I list my home for sale?

The March Toronto real estate market has been subdued to say the least. This week is particularly slow for new listings as March break has begun and many families have shifted their focus to other activities. If you live in a family neighbourhood, any Realtor with half a brain will advise you to wait until at least next week to list your home.

Although you may want to wait a bit longer. On March 19 the federal budget is released and it is widely expected the Liberal government will provide some relief for first-time home buyers. The relief may come in the way of extending mortgage amortizations to 30 years or re-jigging the mortgage stress-test calculation. We will have to wait and see, but with an election on the way, it is widely expected the federal government will make a move to appease cash-strapped voters.

In addition, it is becoming clearer that interest rates are normalizing and the Bank of Canada is stepping off the gas on further rate hikes. Shortly after the federal budget, I expect one of the big banks (likely BMO?) will start advertising a special ridiculously low-interest rate. Meridian Credit Union has already started the spring rate war, introducing today a 1.98% 2-year fixed rate.

I believe the broad-based stock market sell-off at the end of 2018 and a generally more cautious view towards real estate has also contributed to the hesitancy among buyers, sellers, and investors. Many people are in a holding pattern, we will see if next week’s federal budget will be enough to motivate the masses.

-Nick Horton

Nick Horton, salesperson.