This is my 6th year in real estate. I started back in 2008 and saw the impact of the Oakville market during the "great recession" and the subsequently strong real estate market that followed. Oakville has experienced extremely strong levels of appreciation over the past 5 years but I can honestly say I have never experienced a market as competitive as it has been this spring.
February average sale prices in Oakville were up 3.4% from January and year to date, sale prices are already up 4.4% vs 2013 (which was also an extremely strong year). March statistics aren't out yet but I will be shocked if prices weren't pushed further up this past month. The average Oakville home now costs $765,000 to buy.
If you have any doubts about the strength of the current market, you should really ask the opinion of a current buyer in the GTA. They will tell you first hand that buying a home has become a competitive sport. If you live in Toronto, it is all about the roller coaster ride of being one of several buyers to offer on a home. If you live in Oakville and are lucky enough not to be faced with multiple offers, you instead find yourself racing to view a home within hours with the hopes of buying it before someone else has time to place an offer.
Sellers are listing homes at new highs and homes are setting price records every day . When I look at comparable neighbourhood sales, I am usually telling clients that the home they view will most likely sell higher than what it suggests its worth on paper. The simple reason is that you need to factor in the demand for housing. The sale price of a similar home 6 to 8 months ago is worth more in today's highly competitive market.
What does this all mean for you as a buyer? To me the biggest buyer lesson is accepting that you probably won't get "a deal" on a house. Instead, you need to look at "the deal" as the overall Oakville market. When market prices are on the rise, it is often wiser to pay market value in order to secure the home you love. If you aren't aggressive and it takes you 6 months to find the great "deal" you risk that prices will have gone up and you end up paying more for the same home than you would if you had bought it earlier for an "okay" price.
I understand that my role as a buyer agent is to ensure you get a great deal. I think this shouldn't be confused with how much you get off the list price. Remember, some homes are priced low, some are priced high and others are priced right on so it doesn't matter what percentage of list you pay. What does matter is how well your home is poised to grow and whether or not it is a good mid-long term investment. This is what I educate my buyers to focus on. We discuss which neighbourhoods have good value and what types of homes are likely to stay in demand in the future. We also discuss what will likely happen in the short term and whether or not certain homes are worth buying or if something more fitting will come on the market in the next few months.
Buying a home can be an extremely frustrating experience in today's market. The good news is once buy a home in Oakville, you immediately benefit from its great neighbourhoods, amazing community services and great investment potential.
If you have questions about the current market, I am happy to discuss them with you. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-484-5162.
Happy home buying!