I had a client call me last night - she wanted me to advise her about listing her property, should she do it now or should she wait for spring?  She was worried that she may not get what she wanted for her house because everyone is talking about a slow down in the housing market.

I thought I would share our discussion, because I am sure it is relevant to many people who are wondering about the same thing.

Yes, it is true that there is already a slow down in the market, specifically in Ontario - might I mention that Alberta is on the rise once more!

The slow down is a very general statement, because we all know of specific areas that are growing in leaps and bounds, where houses sell like hot cakes and property prices are steadily rising.

The fact of the matter is that certain geographies are undergoing a mass exodus of labour as manpower migrates from areas where there is less or no opportunity to areas where there is employment.  The auto industry is a case in point.  Plant closures have forced many people to sell their homes and move.  Many towns such as London and Oshawa had their economic base in the auto industry.  These places have taken a hit on property prices, and yet new construction continues.  What do builder know or hope for that we are unaware of?

Might I mention that Canadian are by far one of the most immobile labour populations, and therefore the movement of the Canadian economy towards a new resource allocation frontier is sluggish, holding things back for us.

On the other hand, the Canadian home ownership dream will never really let the housing industry die.  The motivation created by this dream is so strong that Canadians will still purchase homes regardless of interest rates hikes (remember the 80s when Canadians still bought homes and took out mortgages with the prime rate standing at 22%).

About listing this year - how important is it that you sell this year?  Can you take the money freed up from your house and invest it in another property or investment that will give you at least the same or  higher rate of return on investment?  Is there an emotional reason for selling immediately such as a marriage breakdown or death of a partner? Are you downsizing or up-sizing? For those who are downsizing this is not a good time to sell.  For those who are up-sizing this is a good time.  They can get a bigger house for almost the same price as their smaller one, and smaller homes are still moving really fast.

As always the answer is dependent on your own personal needs, but pay close attention to the downsizing decision and do try to delay this for a little bit.

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