Tuesday 21 April 2015

"Will it get better or worse?"

One doesn't have to read very far in the headlines these days to know that Hamilton is in a strong sellers' market.  Competing offer situations are making it difficult to get any kind of bargain in the market, with some properties getting quite a bit more than the asking price.

This can be a frustrating time for buyers looking at the market.  I can sympathize -- it's not any nicer for real estate agents working with buyers.

In discussing the current market, one buyer client recently asked me if I thought it would get better or worse.  While I don't have a crystal ball, I think prices are not going to get any better from a buyer perspective, meaning I don't think we're in for any major corrections.  But if the market at least balances a bit, then it might become better in the sense that you can make an offer without several other buyers turning up the heat with competing offers.

A few things could help to balance the market out, but it basically boils down to supply vs demand. 

On the demand side, prices may eventually get to the point where it's more affordable than Toronto but not cheap enough for the typical commuter to justify the commute.  But I think we'll always be affordable enough that our market won't drop off a cliff, either.

On the supply side, an increase in listing inventory would go a long way toward relieving some of the pressure on buyers.  The Hamilton market has been down in available listings for some time now.  At the end of the first quarter in 2015, listings were down 7.7% citywide from the same time last years, with  inventory in some areas even lower -- listings on Hamilton Mountain, for example, were down 20% at the end of the first quarter. 

With increased demand and decreased supply, sellers should continue to enjoy the upper hand for the foreseeable future.  Buyers will have to remain patient and focused, seeing new properties as quickly as possibly and trying to make rational decisions if competition arises.

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