Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Selling your house in London, ON is a decision not to be taken lightly. But one factor that can make the difference between getting the price you want and one you have to settle for is timing. By selling your house at the right time, you can take advantage of ideal market conditions and ensure you are selling right when demand hits its peak.
While there is no crystal ball to predict with 100% accuracy when you should sell your house, the good news is that right now represents one of the strongest seller’s markets Southwestern Ontario has ever had. Let’s look at five reasons to sell your house in London, ON now rather than later.
1. London Is a Red-Hot Real Estate Market
The real estate market in London and throughout Southwestern Ontario is on fire right now. While there are many specific reasons for this (we’ll get to a few of those below), the main one is a combination of supply and demand. Simply put, there are a lot of people who want to buy homes in London, ON, and not enough houses to meet that demand.
The result is that home prices are increasing, bidding wars are becoming more common and homes are sitting on the market for a much shorter period of time. For example, in 2011, there were over 3,500 average monthly homes on the market in London. This year that figure has dropped to just over 1,000. Meanwhile, during that same period the average home sale price has increased from about $232,000 to over $473,000.
2. Homebuyers Are Looking Outside of Toronto
Whenever we hear about the Ontario real estate market, a lot of the focus is on Toronto. While Canada’s biggest city continues to post strong home sales, a shift is occurring in real estate in Ontario. Cities just outside of Toronto are posting much stronger housing sales, and Southwestern Ontario is leading this trend.
Cities across Southwestern Ontario are seeing annual housing price gains of over 20 percent. In London alone, the average price of a home increased a staggering 28.5% in October compared to the year before. In Toronto, by comparison, sale prices for detached houses rose by 14.8%—still strong, but well behind the numbers in Southwestern Ontario.
While the shift from Toronto to Southwestern Ontario began prior to COVID, the pandemic has accelerated that change. Many people who were once willing to live in a cramped one-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto are suddenly feeling less enamoured with the big city in an age of social distancing and red zone restrictions. That’s especially so given the cost of renting a condo in Toronto is often more than the monthly mortgage payments for a spacious home in London.
3. Remote Work Is Fueling Home Sales in London, Ontario
Another reason that prospective homebuyers are flocking from Toronto to Southwestern Ontario right now is because of the increased ease of remote work. Again, this is an instance where COVID has accelerated a long-simmering trend.
Remote work is no longer the exception, it is the norm. At the start of the pandemic, 3.4 million Canadians switched from office to remote work and about three quarters of them are still working remotely as of August. Many of them are quite happy with that arrangement. An ADP Canada survey found that 45% of Canadian workers want the option to work remotely at least three days a week after the pandemic ends.
The result is that remote work is here to stay, which means that homebuyers are looking for more space for homes that are doubling as offices. This is especially true for couples, many of whom are now both working from home.
But many workers will still need to commute into the office once or twice a week even after the pandemic ends. On that front, London has a huge advantage over other cities in Ontario given that it is still within reach of Toronto for occasional commuters.
4. The Holidays Are a Great Time to Sell a House in London, Ontario
December isn’t often thought of as a month when people are looking to buy a home, but it’s actually a great to start taking the steps to get your house ready for sale. While it’s true that sales tend to slow in December, they often come roaring back to life by mid-January, especially when the real estate market is as hot as London’s currently is.
This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. During December, potential buyers tend to put their buying decisions on hold as they focus on the holidays and family gatherings. As a result, by time January comes around there is a lot of pent up demand, and sellers can often attract a lot of buyers during this time.
Also, the holidays are when people tend to take stock of things and make big life decisions. This is when families will have discussions about their hopes and aspirations for the new year, which often includes upgrading to a bigger house. Again, the result is that by January, there is a considerable uptick in interest from buyers, especially in London where a spacious home can easily be found that’s just two hours away from downtown Toronto.
5. London, Ontario Is One of Canada’s Most Desirable Cities
While we’ve mentioned a couple times that more people are buying houses in London, ON because they are fleeing the small spaces and high prices of Toronto, London is a highly desirable city in its own right. It regularly ranks in the top 10 best cities in which to buy a home in Canada. MoneySense, for example, ranked it the second-best city in Canada to buy a home, just behind Guelph.
There are a lot of reasons why London, Ontario is such a desirable place to live. It has a small-town feel, but with plenty of big city amenities. It is home to Western University, one of Canada’s best universities. Residents enjoy access to high-quality schools, hospitals and parks, plus it is a safe city with plenty of things to see and do.
The result is that selling a home in London, ON is easy because London sells itself. With interest in London reaching even greater heights, right now there is a buyer for just about any house. Whether you choose to list your house on the market or go the faster and less risky route of selling your home directly to a real estate solutions company, you’ll benefit from an exceptionally strong seller’s market.