Higher prices unlikely, even in the very near future - local agents

Canadians who are looking to cash in on the country’s overheated housing market should act now before the market shifts or the government implements more drastic policies, according to real estate agents working in the most in-demand cities.

Sarah Blakely of Toronto recounted the recent sale of her renovated three-bedroom home for more than $1 million, after she and her husband managed to purchase a four-bedroom home in Ottawa. Seven years earlier, the couple spent a little over $300,000 on the sold property.

“My husband and I saw an opportunity to take advantage of the recent gains in real estate and to move to a less expensive city to live mortgage-free, support our savings for retirement and also to be closer to family,” Blakely told CBC News.

Josie Stern, the couple’s agent, stated that the transaction came at just the right time, as it would be unlikely that the home will be able to sell for that much, even in the near future.

“A little bit of air has been let out of the bubble,” Stern said, noting that price growth seems to be cooling a bit—a situation that Vancouver real estate agent Melissa Wu is intimately familiar with.

Wu said that while her recent deals included a $2-million sale for a hundred-year-old home in east Vancouver, the transaction took three weeks to materialize—far longer than it would have last year.

Wu encouraged Toronto homeowners to sell as soon as they can, explaining that their market is in an enviable position at the moment.

“There’s always a shift coming in,” she said. “Sell before it corrects.”

In Royal LePage’s just-released Q1 housing report, recent data suggested that Toronto and Vancouver’s real estate trends have finally diverged after years of mirroring each other.

“For the first time in several years, real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto are headed in opposite directions,” Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper said.

“The Vancouver market stalled, as confused consumers took to the sidelines after a series of uncoordinated moves by all three levels of government. With the housing shortage becoming more acute, Toronto easily stepped forward to assume the title of Canada’s most overheated real estate market.”

Related stories:
CREA releases latest stats, warns against further housing policy
5 Highlights from the latest housing report

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