Clients, friends and family are always asking, “Where is the market going? Is it a good time to buy or sell?”
Last December Ann gave us her version of her crystal ball predictions for 2012. I agree with Ann when she says her crystal ball has never provided a very clear picture of the future. Neither has mine, therefore my impression of where the market is going will be just as vague.
Ann referred to what the ‘experts’ were saying. They said this year would be a good year for employment in Hamilton. At the end of the first quarter of 2012 Hamilton’s unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter. So far so good.
Other ‘experts’ referred to the economy as doing just fine and interest rates are still historically low. The Bank of Canada expects economic growth to reach 2.4% this year and also suggest there may be ‘modest’ interest rate hikes over the next 12-18 months.
On the home sales front, according to REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington statistics, the number of listings for the first 4 months of 2012 is down from the same period last year, while the number of homes sold is up almost 2% over the same period last year which puts upward pressure on average sale prices resulting in an increase of almost 8% for the same period.
So where is the market going, who really knows? We can look at statistics til the cows come home and come up with a dozen different scenarios for the future. Like Ann said last December, there will always be people getting married, families growing, and job relocations. There will always be a need for houses to be bought and sold regardless of the economy. For you REALTORS® out there you need to be aware of what’s happening in your trading area and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
For you buyers and sellers – Is it a good time to buy or sell? Of course it is. With the possibility of increases in the interest rates as well as average sale prices – the longer you wait – the more money it will cost! You must always remember the real estate market is very localized and can vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. My advice to you is to hire a professional REALTOR® to help you wade through the mounds of statistics and provide you with the necessary information to make sound real estate decisions. After all, your home is probably the largest single investment you have. You wouldn’t want to make any mistakes would you?????