What is it about spring weather that causes Canadians to want to pack up and move?

At McGarr Realty, we’ve noticed that during the winter months – November through February – real estate in Ontario slows down, with fewer homes for sale in St. Catharines and Niagara.

However, once spring approaches, things begin to heat up with “for sale” signs popping up even before the snow has disappeared. By the time April rolls around, the spring market has truly opened its doors, with listings being added daily and telltale signs popping up everywhere.

Spring is an exciting time in Niagara’s real estate market – so exciting, it has often been called a “frenzy.” 

Our McGarr Realty teams have experienced this first hand! Some of the frenzy has included competing first-day offers; multiple offers following an open house; back-to-back showings on consecutive days, and folks just knocking on the door, asking to see a house because they couldn’t make it to the open house.

Despite last year’s new mortgage rules and the introduction of the “stress test,” interest in buying homes in St. Catharines and Niagara has continued to rise. With a market showing average pricing that is lower than that of the GTA or Hamilton and Burlington markets, families are willing to transplant themselves so their homebuying dollar goes further.

In December 2018, the Niagara Association of Realtors reports there was a 7.2 per cent decrease in sales for the month vs the previous year, but a 4.3 per cent increase in the average price for the same period to $402,813.

Based on activity recorded on the multiple listings service, the Canadian Real Estate Association projects that in 2019, home sales activity and prices are expected to be held in check by policy changes from different levels of government – such as the mortgage stress test – in addition to additional interest rate increases.

During the spring real estate market, however, all predictions have to be set aside. Why? Because things move, and they move quickly.

Our McGarr Realty teams have always wondered why this is. Is the frenzy of the spring market solely attributed to the weather? We think weather has a lot to do with it, but there’s more, too…

  • Families don’t want to plan a move when there is snow on the ground. We prefer sunshine and green grass over snow and ice, thanks very much!
  • Families want to co-ordinate their move with the end of the school year, so they can take the summer to get used to their new neighbourhood. This gives children a fresh start, and time to make friends before school resumes in September.
  • Families that are ready to make a move may have been using the winter months to prep their homes for sale. Once spring arrives, they are eager to get moving, after being cooped up inside for months with paint and packing crates.
  • In a “move or renovate” situation, families take advantage of good spring weather to attain quotes for renos. If the home they are thinking of selling is in demand, they may decide to sell instead of renovating to suit their needs. Thus, their own new-home search begins.
  • Once the snow begins to thaw everything can be seen and inspected, from foundation to roofs and chimneys. It’s the perfect time to uncover problems or prove none exist.
  • With spring come the spring rains, meaning green grass and pretty curb appeal. Tidying up lawns and gardens makes a big impact on your home’s visual appeal. When you’re competing for a sale against lots of sellers, making a good first impression counts.
  • With longer bouts of daylight hours, sellers have more time to both work on curb appeal and show off their home to its best advantage.

These are just a few theories our McGarr Realty teams have as to why the spring real estate market is so full of frenzy. There is one thing we like to tell potential clients though, and that is:

If we’re in the spring market and you’ve found a home you love, you’ll need to move quickly to get your offer in. Because we are in constant contact with our client families, our McGarr Realty teams will be able to help you jump to it.

If you’re ready to sell or buy a home for sale in St. Catharines or throughout Niagara, the spring real estate market is the perfect time to begin!


McGarr Realtors are standing by, ready to help our clients navigate the spring real estate market.

Give our office a call at 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, or 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines. Send us a message via our contact page, HERE.

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