Real estate’s on fire across Canada.
Like almost everywhere, pent-up demand can drive Ontario house prices skyward. Motivated home buyers and sellers save up, and the time seems right to buy. Besides, you have to live somewhere.
Before you jump in, think about this.
Future for Bank of Canada Rates
Money managers are predicting the Bank of Canada’s trend-setting overnight interest rate could spike to 4.5% in 2023. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) says higher rates are needed to damp down inflation and compensate for labour shortages that are causing wages to rise.
The BoC rate influences variable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit tied to mortgages. They stay stable as long as the BoC rate is flat. Overnight rate decisions are made monthly, excluding February, May, August and November in 2023.
What’s At Stake When Interest Rates Go Up
High interest rates can give home buyers high anxiety. What’s affordable during low interest rate periods may exceed what a home buyer can juggle at renewal time. Significant walk-aways, foreclosures, or distressed property sales can bring down home prices, making property worth less than the mortgage on it. That can spell crisis or opportunity for you.
What Financial Analysts Think About House Prices
Will prices of homes drop in 2022 in Canada?
Softening home sales have Re/MAX predicting average home prices Canada-wide will fall by 2.2% in 2023. CREA agrees sales are on a downswing. The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes sold has declined by 20% since 2021, and could fall another 2.3% in 2023.
CREA is more optimistic about housing prices, forecasting average home prices nationwide will see a 4.7% increase in 2022 and another 0.2% in 2023. Still, Re/MAX forecasts 2023 price drops of up to 6.3% for Greater Toronto Area.
With some outstanding exceptions, Ontario home prices have been on a decline since March 2022. Despite a 35% decrease in sales since 2021, fall sold prices held steady in Toronto, with a slight 1% increase in August 2022. Hamilton, Ottawa, and Mississauga all saw gains.
Here’s what to do next if you’re an Ontario real estate buyer or seller.
Buy Low, Sell High – Is It Still Relevant?
Bidding wars are booming. You could win big by selling now, or hold until interest rates go down. New to selling? What is the APS in real estate?
For sale by owner — real estate challenges you could encounter.
Buyers are dropping subject-to conditions and putting in offers sight unseen. It’s hard to see how anyone could ever buy low and sell high these days. Especially in Greater Toronto Area, where house prices are historically high and even a small condo costs a lot. Cancel a realtor listing.
You could cash in and sell, if you have a market-ready house. Are you too late already?
Sizing Up Selling Options
- If you kept up your home and have only minor touch ups to do, compare appraised values in your area. You could look at MLS listings, ask realtors, or pay for a professional property appraisal. Basement renovations home buyers want.
- When major upgrades like a new roof or foundation repairs are needed, weigh the cost against potential profits. Get estimates, calculate your timing, and decide if you could afford a new home after you deduct expenses. Would you be content to rent and hold if you couldn’t buy?
- If you held during the pandemic only to sit on the market while interest rates climbed, stay hopeful. Housing starts rarely keep up with demand in highly populated places like Toronto. Your wait may not be long. Find a lawyer for private sales of real estate.
Dealing with buyer’s remorse. What to do if a buyer won’t close.
Is a Condo in Your Future?
An urban commuter like you stuck in the burbs? How about a condo instead? Condos go up and down in popularity depending on influxes of immigrants who need affordable housing,
international students looking for an investment, and demand for and restrictions on Airbnb rentals. Condos are a choice option for buyers armed with First-time Home Buyer Incentive grants. Getting in early could score you a bargain.
Watch our video for 9 tips for the first time home buyer.
Questions to Ask if Buying
- Is metro Toronto or the GTA where you plan to live, work from home or retire?
- Are you comfortable home hunting when interest rates are high?
- Could you outbid competitors if a home you desired came on the market?
- Are you unnecessarily caught up in a buying frenzy?
- If retirement is looming, is congregate housing like long-term care, assisted living, or apartment condos with their low-maintenance lifestyle for you?
- Can sellers keep buyers’ deposits?
Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer
Sales completion dates for real estate offers to purchase are legally binding. Call Axess Law sooner rather than later when you buy or sell real estate in Ontario. We go over your draft or final agreement of purchase and sale for terms and conditions that could disadvantage you.
Our professional legal team can negotiate with a seller’s or buyer’s lawyer to change your offer, or explain what happens if the deal falls through. We request more time if you need it to finalize mortgage financing, and advocate for you if a professional home inspection finds defects you’d like fixed before the sale closes.
Making an amendment to the agreement of purchase and sale.
Axess Law’s virtual real estate lawyers complete your real estate transaction via secure, confidential video conference without you ever leaving home. Just email your agreement of purchase and sale to Axess Law. Our licenced real estate lawyers will witness your signature online and email you a copy for your records. Protect your home from mortgage fraud.
Your lawyer makes title transfers (Ontario only) after searching for construction liens or financial claims that could hold up your purchase or sale. Adding names to a house title in Ontario is quick and easy, or Axess Law can update the title later.
Access Lawyers Remotely By Video Conference
Close real estate transactions anywhere in Ontario with our remote real estate lawyers. Our legal professionals network with you online using any compatible home computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. We offer secure, confidential video conferencing services anytime you want to sign, have witnessed, or finalize an Ontario agreement of purchase and sale. We show you how to make completing your real estate deal nearly effortless.
How virtual real estate lawyer services work.
Affordable Real Estate Lawyers, Anywhere You Are
Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.
Find a real estate lawyer near me.
Book Appointments 7 Days a Week
Axess Law has licensed real estate lawyers near you, 7 days a week. Make instant appointments online using our web booking form. For personal assistance, dial our toll free 1-877-402-4277 lawyer line, or 647-479-0118 in Greater Toronto Area. We help you find dates and times that fit your schedule. If you prefer, drop by any Axess Law office.
We have onsite parking, and easy transit access.