The Star has already dubbed it “a … spring real estate season like none in memory.” Spring is usually the “hottest season” when it comes to home sales. Realtors are warning buyers to expect a lot of competition for homes. Many of these will receive multiple offers, and will go at above-asking prices. While it’s not advisable to over-extend finances, buyers have to be prepared to participate in and win bidding wars if they are to get a piece of the real estate pie. Spring is a unique season in real estate terms. It’s the time of year when we see the most activity, with “For Sale” signs dotting nearly every neighborhood, and open houses and showings become the norm across the country.

In April 2017 the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that national home sales had risen in more than 50 percent of the local markets when compared to March. Sales for March were also higher than those for February. Leading the pack were Montreal, London & St. Thomas, and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The largest increase was seen in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and this counterweighed a drop in the quantity of houses being bought and sold in Greater Vancouver.

Prices have recovered recently in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley after having fallen in the last two quarters of last year. House prices in those two areas are well above levels found a year ago – 12.7 percent year on year and 19.4 percent year on year respectively. In comparison, house prices dropped by 1.5 percent y-o-y in Saskatoon, and 1.2 percent y-o-y in Calgary. Prices in those two markets are now 5.1 percent and 5.4 percent under their respective upper limits reached in 2015.

Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto remain two of Canada’s most expensive, most active, and tightest housing markets. The average price nationwide continues to be drawn upward by sales activity in those two markets. This is a great time for both homebuyers and sellers. Island Mortgage agents Carolyn Maycock & Margaret Mots can help you make the right financial decision for your next mortgage. Contact today.