Another Element Holding up Toronto Sales: Weather

It sure is a far cry from last year. In April 2012, Toronto was experiencing a spring that could only be called summer. The last round of tighter mortgage rules hadn’t yet been implemented, and there was no fear that interest rates were going to rise any time soon. Oh what a difference a year makes.

Look around Toronto’s housing market today, and you’ll get a completely contrasting picture. The weather has been damp and dreary for weeks. This has been more than a case of April showers. For the first few weeks, the city was still trying to get rid of the last remnants of snow in some areas.

And buyers? Forget about it. Yes, they’re still out there; and yes, there are even stories of bidding wars happening here and there. But it’s nothing like the frenzy of April or May of 2012. It’s harder to get a mortgage than it was a year ago, and buyers don’t want to be trudging through the bleak dampness to find a home. But, the extended winter, and cool spring is hurting home sellers, too; and it goes deeper than the fact that there just isn’t the amount of interest that there once was.

It’s because spring is the busiest time on the market for many reasons. Yes, buyers are finally happy to not be holed up at home waiting for the latest storm to pass; but spring also gives homeowners the chance to showcase some of the best features of their home. And this year, the dismal weather has made that all but impossible.

“We really shouldn’t have listed yet,” says Mel Mills, an example of one Toronto home seller that says this year’s nasty weather has hurt him.

“When all the leaves and flowers are in, our backyard is completely secluded. None of that is showing off. We’re missing out on one of the big selling features of our home.”

Mills had been asking his Realtor to hold off on listing his home until he could open his pool, too, but that won’t happen now.

His case isn’t unusual. Home sellers of course, want to make top dollar from their home, and that often means showcasing the best features. And in a city like Toronto, where winters are long and that summer sun is all too short, that often includes the best ways to maximize on your outdoor space during those precious summer months.

The good news for Toronto home buyers and sellers is that the weather does seem to finally be changing in Toronto. And while it may have taken a little longer than usual this year, the sun is finally shining and the buds are finally blooming. And that means that the slight improvement in sales that was seen in April, should only improve throughout this coming month.