What Will the Spring 2022 Housing Market Look Like?

The spring housing market is often regarded as one of the busiest and most important times to buy or sell a home. 

With increasing inflation, rising property prices, and record-low housing supply, the 2022 spring market could be a challenge to navigate without the skills and knowledge of an experienced REALTOR®.

Today, we speak with Davelle Morrison, a Toronto-based REALTOR® and broker with Bosley Real Estate and Alex Yao, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Select Properties in Vancouver to hear what they predict  home buyers and sellers could expect this spring.

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What we can generally expect from a spring market

Some may consider the spring market to occur between March and May. However, Morrison points out the spring market can start as early as January after home buyers have spent holiday downtime surfing REALTOR.ca and evaluating their plans for the new year. 

“If I were advising a client who has a listing, I would say get out there in January and February, because that’s when there really aren’t a lot of listings, but there’s a lot of demand,” she said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic knocked the market out of its regular seasonal patterns in 2020, capsizing the spring market to seasonally low sales levels and pushing transactions into the summer and fall markets

Yao explains affordability and the work-from-home movement will continue to play a role in influencing buyer activity in spring 2022.

A large part of the Vancouver market is made up of families with children seeking more space for greater affordability, Yao said. Many households are moving to the outskirts of the region to communities such as CoquitlamSurrey, and Maple Ridge, which can be more affordable than metro Vancouver. 

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The timing of the spring market and how it coincides with the school year will also be a convincing factor for families to move. 

“Spring has always been a family type of moving period because as they’re getting ready to move—going to make a purchase or sale of a home—they’re lining up the move around the summertime when the kids are out of school,” said Yao. “Typically, that purchase or sale has to happen in the spring to line up for a move in the summer.” 

For those living in outer-city communities who may be required to return to their downtown office, Morrison says busy road traffic and long travel times may persuade buyers to pick up a pied-à-terre condo to make their commutes easier. 

Housing supply has been hovering around extreme lows for some time. In its December 2021 housing market update, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported there was just 1.8 months of inventory available nationwide. 

“Unless something drastically changes, I don’t believe we’re going to see a lot of supply in the market,” she said. “I think we’re still going to go down this path of lots of demand, not a lot of supply.”

What does the spring 2022 market look like for buyers?

Given the predicted ongoing housing supply shortages, the best strategy for prospective buyers is to be as prepared as possible

“The first thing you usually need to understand as a buyer is your own financial circumstance,” said Yao. “You have to talk to a mortgage broker, you have to know exactly the area you want to be in. You need to know your price range. You need to know the details of the property that really matter to you before actually going and looking.”

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Once you’ve consulted with your mortgage broker and you’re ready to begin touring homes, Morrison and Yao both agree it’s essential to move on new properties quickly once they become available. 

For instance, Morrison says you’ll want to ensure your bank allows you to access deposit funds swiftly in the event of an offer. You’ll also want to view properties within the first day or two they’re listed on the market so you can get ahead of competing purchasers. 

“The more days that go by, the more time people have had the opportunity to see [the property], and if you’re the buyer, you don’t want other people to see it,” said Morrison.

What can sellers and investors expect for spring 2022?

Compared to buyers, sellers have the upper hand in the current market with more purchasers compared to listings. However, this doesn’t mean those putting their home on REALTOR.ca can slack off on any of the important setup steps. 

As homes are heavily viewed and marketed online like any product, Morrison explains professional photographystaging, and cleaning is crucial to getting your listing off on the right foot. It’s also beneficial to consider including a home inspection report for added transparency and knowledge.

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Yao explains, thanks to the efficiency of technology and the current competitive market conditions, buyers will often narrow down their choice of homes online before making a showing request to visit them in person, hence the importance of a good online presence. 

“People are used to seeing a place before going into it. They want to understand things even more so now. Especially with the multiple offer situations,” said Yao. “You don’t really have the time to go around to 20 houses and then pick one and go for a second showing and so forth.”

For property investors looking for cash flow, Morrison expects the rental market will continue to strengthen into the new year as people return to downtown areas for work. 

If you are thinking of buying, selling or renting a home in spring 2022, consult the help of a local REALTOR® for expert advice and guidance on the market.

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