It’s no longer a question: Ontario’s real estate markets are shifting.
After more than two years of upheaval driven by the pandemic, a slew of factors (most primarily: rising interest rates and inflation) are working together to ultimately drive home prices down, province wide, when compared to 2021.
But balancing out does not mean plummeting, and this time of readjustment doesn’t automatically equate to red flags. In fact, for many, these shifts open windows of opportunity.
“As much as we’re comparing to last year — which was record numbers, let’s keep that in perspective — it’s still a very solid market because of the demand, ultimately,” says Stefani Konidis, Broker, Division Manager, and Vice President of Johnston & Daniel.
Konidis explains that for agents, who work with both buyers and sellers, the current market readjustments pose opportunities for success on both sides of real estate’s coin.
Time for Buyers to Bite?
The present moment is a special one for buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines, as the slow creep of increasing interest rates helps push list prices down.
Of course, this evolution doesn’t serve everyone; many buyers are discouraged — if not totally immobilized — by rising rates (hence the impact on housing prices at all). However, in the case of those with wiggle room in their monthly finances, this shift may bring forth exactly the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.
“The buyers really have an opportunity right now,” says Konidis, explaining how those on the market for a new home can now take advantage of a mortgage rate they’ve recently secured. “For buyers right now, to get those rates that they maybe locked into 20 days ago . . . now is a time, potentially, for them to get into something.”
For Sellers, Strategy is Key
For agents to support sellers through a balancing market, Konidis encourages a conservative approach, but she also emphasizes that what we’re seeing in today’s real estate scene isn’t new. And with knowledge from previous years of data comes power.
“We’re professionals, and we market and sell properties, regardless of the market conditions. So we can react, confidently and calmly, because chances are, in most cases, we’ve seen a market like this in the past,” she explains. “When I look at some of the dips and valleys that I saw from April ’s data — I’ll say it — when I look at 2017 data, it looked a little the same. And the sky didn’t fall in on the market in 2017, it just slowed down a little bit, for a little while.”
With this insight in their tool belts, agents can enter initial discussions with sellers with pricing strategies at the ready. From activity in the surrounding area and individual building trends (for condos), through to showing appointment counts and each listing’s unique characteristics, many variables inform a property’s asking price; the goal is to “price as sharply as possible” from the start.
Konidis also recommends laying out a timeline for when it may be appropriate to discuss price adjustments, so a seller isn’t taken by surprise if that time does come.
“A conservative approach, right now, is a cautious way to keep your clients in your confidence. [We are trusted advisors.] If you’re giving them context and you’re saying ‘I think this is a more appropriate way — given the landscape — to proceed,’ I think they’ll appreciate that,” Konidis says. “And investors might have a different lens than an end user. But that being said, agents will adjust their comments accordingly.”
A Solid Foundation
Beyond coming to a client’s table with market knowledge and strategic plans, agents are wise to lay their roots within a solid foundation, and navigate the market with a reputable brokerage behind their name. Known and respected as an enriching workplace for realtors — both the seasoned set, and those new to the industry — Johnston & Daniel offers exactly this type of platform.
To be a part of the J&D team means a network of insight and support is at your fingertips; collaboration, tech innovation, and even marketing support are all on offer, in-house. An evolving market presents the perfect opportunity to bolster your foundation, and J&D is perfectly positioned to help you thrive.
Cover image: Ph1 – 409 Bloor Street E (Johnston & Daniel)
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.