If you have your property currently listed for sale, and you are frustrated with the lack of progress in securing a Buyer there may be a number of reasons. One of the key factors affecting our area unlike other markets such as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is Buyer motivation.
Most of you will agree that our lifestyle here in Canada is not much different than our counterparts in the U.S. I can personally attest to that as I lived in the Chicago area for 4 years and travelled extensively through many of the 50 states. I just read an article that was titled "More Americans Move for Families and Jobs." I suspect the same applies here in Canada but not so much in our market.
The article was based on a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau reflected that 48% of Americans make a move for housing related reasons. This was down from almost 53% in 2004. The other reasons (more than 50%) for a move were job related approximately 20% and family related 30%.
The report reflected than 5% choose to make a move simply to be closer to their work lessening their commute, this was up from 3% in 1993. I am not surprised by this. Commuting to work gets more onerous with each passing year, many Buyers are basing their purchasing decisions in the GTA in relation to their work location. Adding to this is another report I recently read which indicated about 50% of “millennials,” those around 18+ years of age did not even have a driver’s license. Seemingly their work and personal lives are intertwined in the city so “why do I need a car?”
In 1999, approximately 21% of Americans moved because they wanted a better house. The latest report shows that this has dropped to 15% and I suspect an aging population wishing to down-size may have something to with it. The same applies here in Canada.
Buyer motivation in our area is quite different than in the GTA for example. Moving to be closer to work is hardly a factor and in the absence of any strong economic development initiatives moving here for work is even less of a factor. With the arrival of low interest rates, we have seen more people making a move to a larger/better home because they want or need one.
So why are the majority of people buying here? As a REALTOR® I can state with some authority that a great number of the Buyers we deal with are moving to the area for retirement purposes or to buy some recreational property. Neither are terribly motivating factors and they are certainly not factors that require a sense of urgency which helps to explain why the number of “days-on-market” for properties in our area are much longer than in a market such as the GTA. Many Buyers in this area are making a potential purchase or move simply because they want to. Their move is not work related or even family related where it is tied into the end of a school year for example.
Once you eliminate the family and job related reasons for a move, you have effectively reduced the number of potential Buyers for our area which in turns adds to the time it takes to secure a Buyer for your property.