I came across an interesting news article recently, talking about Toronto’s current winter housing market. According to a Globe and Mail article found here, the house hunt seems to have started early this year.

The 2013 real estate market had a very strong finish, and it seems to be carrying into early 2014.

The Globe and Mail article tells the story of a young couple looking to buy their first home. John and Lindsey decided to start looking at listings even though they thought it would take several months to find the right house.  When they came across a three-bedroom bungalow that had just come onto the market in the Oshawa area, they put in an offer right away. Within 24 hours of starting their search, they were locked into a bidding war with other eager home buyers.

And they are not alone. Another Toronto couple, Andrew and Miranda, are now looking more seriously at listings for a potential house. Andrew commented, “This is now like Sunday shopping. People are out 12 months of the year.” (Globe and Mail)

Several potential buyers are hoping to gain an advantage by buying early. With the dreary winter weather, the market is usually slower at this time of year. Buyers know that with the arrival of spring, the competition ramps up.

More first time home buyers are looking to enter the real estate market. Many are young couples hoping to buy before interest rates eventually go up.

An early house hunt is good news for Toronto area sellers. Come May, “For Sale” signs pop up all over the GTA, just like spring flowers making their appearance after a long winter.

Currently, there are fewer homes on the market, making for less competition for sellers. According to the latest Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) report, “In January, the number of homes listed for sale was down quite strongly compared to last year, which means that it was difficult for some buyers to find a home.” (TREB January 2014 Market Watch)

By prepping your home for a winter sale, you can take advantage of the low number of home listings and snag buyers early in their search. You never know, you may just have a bidding war on your hands.

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