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Expert: No better time than now to buy a home

Last Updated Dec 26, 2018 at 9:22 pm EST

While many go hunting for discount electronics in the days following Christmas, some of the best deals this time of year could be found in the GTA real estate market. If you’re thinking of making the leap into the market, one expert says now is a good time to start shopping.

“I find that buying when other people aren’t out there is better,” said Jim Burtnick, Sr. Vice President at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “I often encourage my buyers to be out there in December and January, when other people are on vacation and holidays.”

While the market has certainly shifted over the past year, statistics provided by the Toronto Real Estate Board show two clear trends: December and January have the fewest new listings, and sales prices are typically lower than in the spring or summer months.

“When you’re buying when there’s not as much competition, the demand doesn’t force the price up,” said Burtnick.

Although demand may be lower, the pickings could be particularly slim this year. Overall listings in Toronto were down by more than 26 per cent in November year-over-year. But that doesn’t mean that the city’s once-hot market has completely cooled down.

“In Cabbagetown, typically, we’re still seeing multiple offers. In the city proper, in triple-A locations, near transit, near grade schools and amenities, you’re still getting great prices and offers,” said Burtnick.

“Where it’s changing is in the suburbs. The suburbs there’s more listings, and with more listings, more supply. Buyers have more choice and that’s forcing the price down.”

If you’re thinking of selling, Burtnick suggests you should start getting ready now if you want to get the biggest bang for your bungalow ahead of the spring sales surge.

“That can actually still mean February, March, before March break and being out there before everybody else who’s planning on putting their house on the market.”