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Groundhog Day

Issue: 88 February 2nd, 2018

Guelph Weekly Sales Reports

It’s February 2nd and I’m feeling like the Bill Murray character in the film Groundhog Day.  

More about that later.

Another busy and frustrating week in the Guelph real estate world.  This is not how we wanted 2018 to start off.  Inventory levels have dropped again and given the number of buyers out looking at property means offers are flying fast and furious again.  Thirty-nine homes sold in our area last week with 23 or 59% of them selling at or above list price.  You can read that to mean most of those sold above list price.  

Fast reverse to this week last year.  60 homes sold the same week in 2017 and 80% of those sold at or above list that week.  The more the market changes, the more it doesn’t!

This year the challenge is inventory levels have fallen below 2017 levels.  That would explain the 35% drop in production year over year.  So where has the inventory of available homes gone?  

There are a lot of variables at play here and a lot of this has to rely on empirical evidence rather than cold hard numbers.  This year seems to be following a more traditional cycle with sellers waiting for more spring like weather before going to the market. This should mean we’ll see for sale signs sprouting like crocuses once the sun starts shining again.  Apprehension is at play here as well.  There are and should be a large number of people looking to downsize, lose the large family home and settle into a nice bungalow or condo.  You can probably see where I’m going here….”I’d love to sell, but need to find a suitable spot to downsize to first…” is being played like a broken record.  

Lastly I suspect there’s some market timing at play as well.  There will be sellers waiting in the wings for conditions like this to manifest and perhaps get worse before they go to the market.  

So back to Groundhog day the movie.  Phil the weatherman played by Bill Murray is forced to repeat groundhog day day after day like a youtube video stuck on loop.  Doesn’t matter what he does, he wakes up everyday to the same scene playing out before him.  

We’re feeling a bit of that in the Guelph real estate market these days.  It doesn’t seem to matter what we do to get more homes on the market or to eliminate the multiple offers and panicked buyers, we seem to end up in the same place.  New listings and days later, multiple offers and a sales price over list price.  

I don’t have all the answers to solving our inventory challenge.  It goes beyond Guelph and even Ontario for that matter, as it seems a new found interest in real estate around North America has spiked home sales to new levels.

The one caveat I have for those that are waiting and expecting markets to continue to rise is that the music will eventually stop and we all know there aren’t enough chairs for everyone.  This month could be a great opportunity for those thinking of making a move and selling.  I can almost guarantee that this may be the only time when you won’t have to compete to get the attention of buyers.  

Happy Groundhog Day!  


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Home Group Realty Leadership Team