I recently had the opportunity to chat with Rick Reinhardt, an agent with RE/MAX Real Estate (Edmonton) Ltd. in Edmonton, AB. I asked him how business was, and if he could provide me with some insight on the Seasons of Real Estate, particularly seasonal trends in the home buyer’s market. Here’s what Rick had to say:
There are 3 Seasons in Canadian real estate.
Low season: November, December, January, February
Hands down the slowest time of the year for real estate sales! Realtors will typically do 10% of their yearly sales during these months. The winter months tend to put everyone into a hibernation state of real estate, sellers lack motivation and buyers honestly just don’t want to look at houses in the colder months of the year and have to move over and around Christmas. However, this is when the investors show up every year. The investors see this as “prime time” to purchase properties due to the lack of competing buyers and sometimes desperate selling prices. The homes that are usually “left over” at this time of year are the ones that were too highly priced in the summer and fall months and now the sellers have hit a desperation state and are almost forced to give their homes away and price them at a “bargain” price.
High season: March, April, May, June
Just like the previous months were hands down the slowest time of the year for real estate, these 4 months are hands down the busiest. Realtors will typically do 70% of their yearly sales during these months. No smart realtor goes on holidays during these months. This is probably the most consistent season every year, all realtors gear up for it in February/March and we all know it’s coming. The spring weather seems to snap people out of the winter “funk” and sparks interest in real estate like clockwork. This is always the best time of the year to sell your home as there are just so many buyers during this time. The reasons for buyers choosing this time of year for purchasing is that possession dates are typically May/June/July which means the kids are out of school and the weather is great for moving day. Buyers can take possession of their home and be settled and still have time for summer vacation without really affecting their holiday schedule much. Canadians really only get about 4 months of good moving weather so everyone tries to take advantage of it!
Cooling off season: July, August, September, October
Time for realtors to catch up! After a chaotic 4 month stretch this is when realtors will typically do 20% of their yearly sales. This is also when 90% of the realtors go on holidays….myself included. These months offer everyone a chance to catch up. There is typically one last rush in September/October with buyers purchasing the remaining homes from the summer and taking possession before the snow flies and/or before Christmas. This is when I usually recommend to sellers that if your house isn’t sold by the end of October that we should take it off the market until the spring and take advantage of “high season”.
I think Rick’s summary of the seasonal market trends in the Canadian Real Estate Market was very well put. No matter the season in Real Estate, or the time of year in Canada, there is always someone looking to buy or sell!