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How Do You Buy A Home in a Seller’s Market?

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It’s expected that the majority of Canadian housing markets will sit in seller’s market territory in 2021. This is great news if you already own a home and are considering selling it. On the other hand, those who have their sights set on buying their first home this year will face some challenges. How do you buy a home in a seller’s market? Here’s everything you need to know.

Seller’s markets expected to dominate Canadian real estate in 2021

In our annual Housing Market Outlook Report, in which RE/MAX analyzes Canadian real estate trends from the past 12 months and forecasts activity for the upcoming year, RE/MAX determined that 32 of the total 39 Canadian housing markets examined are seller’s markets. Only five markets were identified as being in balanced territory, and just two markets – West Vancouver, BC and St. John’s, Newfoundland – are buyer’s markets.

This means the majority of Canadian homebuyers in 2021 who plan to purchase in any of these cities will likely be up against limited housing supply, lots of competition, and the same question on their lips: how do you buy a home in a seller’s market, with the cards stacked against you?

There are some definitely some buying strategies to employ, but before we get into the nitty-gritty of that, let’s define seller’s market conditions.

CANADIAN SELLER’S MARKETS:

Victoria, BC
Nanaimo, BC
Vancouver, BC

Tri-City (Greater Vancouver), BC 
Fraser Valley, BC
Kelowna, BC
Winnipeg, MB
Windsor, Ont.
Sarnia-Lambton, Ont.
London, Ont.
Niagara Region, Ont.
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

Hamilton-Burlington, Ont.
Oakville, Ont.
Mississauga, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
York Region, Ont.
Durham Region, Ont.
Brampton, Ont.
Barrie, Ont.
Collingwood, Ont.
Muskoka, Ont.
Sudbury, Ont.
North Bay, Ont.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Kingston, Ont.
Ottawa, Ont.
Cornwall, Ont.
Fredericton, NB
Saint John, NB
Moncton, NB
Halifax, NS
Charlottetown, PEI

What is a seller’s market, anyway?

In a seller’s market, there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. With fewer listings to choose from and more competition, homes typically sell quickly, often seeing multiple offers or even bidding wars, and selling over asking price. In a seller’s market, the seller has the upper hand. This is not the time to test your low-ball offer skills.

In a buyer’s market, there are more homes for sale than there are buyers. Since there is less competition, buyers can take their time shopping the market and have more negotiating power. The price of homes listed for sale can be stable or falling.

In a balanced market, there is an equal number of buyers and sellers, resulting in reasonable offers and average days on market. Less tension between buyers and sellers results in stable home prices.

How do you buy a home in a seller’s market?

BE INFORMED. Having a handle on market conditions is a key first step in a successful transaction. This is the case regardless of market conditions, but especially if you’re trying to buy a home in a seller’s market. Remember, real estate is very local, so what is happening in one neighbourhood may not be the case in another. Here’s where it helps to tap into a professional, experienced real estate agent.

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Real Estate

This Ontario Manor Has More Rooms Than You Could Use & Costs Under $1 Million (PHOTOS)

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It turns out that some Ontario family homes are basically mini-mansions.

This Ontario house for sale comes with more rooms than you’ll ever probably need, and it will cost you less than a small Toronto home would.

The house is in Milverton, Ontario, which is a short drive away from Kitchener.

The listing was built in 1910 and has a ton of rooms, plus it sits on over an acre of land.

There are 12 rooms in all, but that doesn’t include the attic and fully renovated garage.

With that much space comes some pretty unique features, like this amazing vintage safe that’s hidden away in the house.

The house’s turret also lends itself to some unique interior room shapes as well.

There are five bedrooms, which will come in handy when you can have friends and family stay at your place again.

Outside of the house, the barn/garage comes with its own spacious interior.

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Real Estate

8 Of The Cheapest Homes You Can Get Around Ottawa (PHOTOS)

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Not all houses in the National Capital Region come with an enormous price tag. Luckily, there are still some affordable homes for sale around Ottawa if you’re on a tight budget.

The average price of a home in Ottawa is $591,413, according to Zoocasa. But if you’re willing to look outside of the city, you can find much cheaper options.

Here are eight incredible places to live that will make you eager to pack up your stuff and move, including one home with a pool.

Five-Bedroom Home

Price: $299,900

Address: 981 Dianne Ave., Rockland, ON

Description: If you crave a separate space for your home office, this five-bedroom home with a garage has tons of room.

Constance Lake Retreat

Price: $260,000

Address: 168 Constance Lake Rd., Ottawa, ON

Description: While living here, you can enjoy swimming in the pool and the picturesque lake view.

Two-Bedroom Duplex

Price: $259,900

Address: 138 Rue Archambault, Gatineau, QC

Description: This duplex has so much potential and is only a short drive from restaurants and stores.

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It’s a renters’ market for businesses that believe the office will make a comeback post-pandemic

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Empty offices left behind by newly minted remote workers and other upheaval caused by the pandemic have begun to show up on the rental market, and it’s presenting some prospective tenants with opportunities they couldn’t have imagined prior to COVID-19.

“They’re getting the red carpet rolled out,” said Darren Fleming, an Ottawa-based commercial real estate broker.

It’s almost a year into the pandemic, and Fleming and his team at Real Strategy Advisors are seeing companies that were on the fence about what to do with office space that’s been sitting empty now starting to downsize.

“It’s to either get rid of about half their space or go [fully] virtual,” said Fleming, the firm’s CEO.

That’s an even bigger shift than he expected just six months ago, when he estimated clients would shed about 25 per cent of their space.

But for those clients who are looking for new space, Fleming says they have an “unparalleled amount of choice” and the potential to land incentives such as free rent for one year.

“If you’re a tenant looking for space right now, there’s a whole lot of people who don’t have a lot of alternatives to rent to,” he said.

Michael McNaught and his growing team at RVezy, an RV rental marketplace company, are prospective tenants seeing the market change first-hand.

In March 2020, McNaught was about to sign a lease for new office space in Ottawa, but then the pandemic hit. RVezy sent all of its staff home to work remotely and put the lease-signing on hold.

Since then, RVezy’s business has doubled and its workforce has nearly tripled from about 20 employees at the start of 2020 to 55 now, with plans to keep hiring.

“We just happened to be one of the fortunate businesses that was well suited during this pandemic,” McNaught, the company’s co-founder, said.

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