A Toronto-based real estate broker has an August sales tip to share.
The reasons for sluggish sales activity in August range from Canadians wanting to enjoy the last of the hot weather to parents being busy getting their kids ready for school in September. Storey says that active listings usually dip in August, and for the homes that remain listed, sellers might have extra motivation or maybe the listings are a month or two old.
“That means there are opportunities to get a price that may not have existed earlier,” said Storey. “From the buyer’s perspective, if you look at August versus all other months, other than December which is lower, you can get better prices in August. There are pricing opportunities in August that may not come up in September. The only caveat is that there’s less competition but a lot less to choose from because inventory is low as well.”
Storey says that leaving around 3% on the table selling a condo in August is worth paying 3% less for a house. There is another tactic he employs for his clients who have risk tolerance.
“You can buy in the middle or near the end of August and lock up a property with a 60- to 90-day closing, and if you can wait two weeks to get your property ready and list it after Labour Day, you can cash in on the market as it’s starting to pick up again, and you’ll already have your property,” he said. “If you have risk tolerance, you can sometimes win on both ends of it.”
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s 2020 Market Watch, the average June sale was $931,000, followed by $943,000 a month later, $951,000 in August, and $960,000 in September. However, 2020 was not a normal year and the spring market was delayed until summer. Still, Norman Xu, a broker and team lead at Royal LePage Signature Realty, is sceptical.
“I don’t think it will make material difference, whether you sell in August instead of September,” he said. “If you want to find the sweet spot in the market to sell a unit, one month won’t make a huge difference. September could be a bit lower or higher, but if we try to speculate the market, there’s usually about three to six months of waiting because the difference from month to month is too little.”
But Storey says it could make a big difference for move-up buyers.
“It’s a percentage, which makes a big difference when it’s the percentage of a house price,” he said. “August is a good time to move up because you might get $50,000 less than you normally would for your condo but you’re saving $150,000 on a house.”