Winter buyers could avoid bidding wars

Jan. 3, 2013 -  Ready to buy a new home? It might pay to start the house-hunt now instead of waiting for the traditional spring home-buying season, says Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage.

Conditions may not be ideal for buyers or sellers, but the dedicated few willing to wade through slush and take a gamble on snow-covered landscaping may just escape the bidding wars that come with summer shopping, he told CTV News on Thursday.

“There are fewer homes for sale and many fewer buyers,” Soper said, insisting that prices don’t change markedly from season to season. “Traditionally in Canada, it’s the first weekend after the kids’ spring break that the market roars into action … If you’re willing to get out there (before that), you have less traffic to contend with.”

Looking ahead, Soper sees 2013 as unfolding similarly to 2012 - with a steady home market and minimal inflation on home prices.

“My guess is relatively flat home prices in 2013,” he said. “There will be some dark spots like the Lower Mainland (near) Vancouver but I don’t expect a big price correction in the Greater Toronto area.

“We have very low interest rates, drawing people into the market who wouldn’t be there otherwise… versus a natural correction because home prices have risen faster than wages and salaries and they need a chance to catch up.”

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Marlene Ofter

Marlene Ofter

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