By now most sellers have heard the market has changed and is changing. Downward.
Depending on where in Ontario your property is, the market will see nuances relating to volume of property coming on, rural or urban, condo or low density, waterfront, etc. The market however is certainly down from its peak which in many markets was late February with a lot of momentum remaining through March and early April. By May, it was becoming pretty clear that aggressive offers from desperate buyers, fearing they would never get into a market that would always forgive a buyer who paid too much, were being replaced by pragmatic buyers with inventory to review and time in which to do it.
Sellers anxious to capitalize on the strong market as their sole reason to sell, will find a changed landscape with new rules. Many sellers in this frame of mind are consumed by wishful thinking.
In this new market, it is important for seller’s to look inward and ask themselves “who am I, as a seller right now”? It’s easy to see that a person trying to buy and sell and manage living arrangements throughout will have to carefully assess their risk of owning 2 properties, and ensuring they gain a sale that achieves their economic needs, and timing that satisfies their buying needs.
For most downsizers headed to an apartment or retirement living, they can still rely on the marketplace to be there for them- but they may need to recalculate their projected cash flows and mortality. No one wants their money to run out.
At the same time, those having done their cash flow math on optimistic and rising market assumptions, may have to take a breath, but not necessarily change plans completely. For some, market appreciation had them budgeting for investment and estate planning that might now be considered a luxury. Put this in context: If your income and the current liquid asset value of your home -with a relevant downward adjustment- still gives you a steady comfortable runway over even an optimistic life expectancy, then keep moving forward.
Part and parcel of your happiness and longevity is living in your best environment that you can afford. The specific option will be different for everyone, but always keep in mind- where do I want to be and why? And it can change. Most people love their home and clearly that is where they have preferred to be. But stairs, driving privileges, health and support requirements, location of friends and family, social connections, and interest in domestic activities all evolve making new options preferred.
In the past 2 years some sellers have garnered a windfall. For others who didn’t jump on the bandwagon, they will still enjoy a market much better than pre pandemic- but not as fast and easy as it was. If this is you, take a breath, have a practical look at your finances, and where you really want to live, and see what options are available. We can help you figure this out with practical real estate assessment, and an understanding of your other income and expenses.
So, don’t freeze and do nothing. And certainly don’t put your house up for sale with nowhere to go and don’t commit to retirement without a practical weighing of affordability.
Gordon’s Downsizing and Estate Services Ltd. Brokerage