Back to school and off to work! The post-labour day time usually coincides with supply shopping and settling in after relaxing summer vibes - but it also tends to kick off Canada’s fall real estate markets, with home buyers and homeowners looking ahead to their next steps.

However, before they make a move, buyers and sellers should get up to speed on the factors that will affect this year’s real estate landscape, ranging from the predictable to the truly surprising. Here are some things that will impact Canada's fall real estate season.

Fixed Mortgage Rates
Currently hovering around 3%, an all-time low with further decreases anticipated, fall demand will be high in many parts of Canada as consumers do everything they can to take advantage of these rates.

Federal Election
Whether or not it’s warranted, elections create a real sense of insecurity and uncertainty. As a result, many consumers decide to delay real estate purchases until they know if the incoming government will modify or even cancel any of the programs and regulations affecting real estate sales and purchases. Historically, federal elections dampen real estate demand, so sellers that want to maximize exposure and opportunities for their properties should likely list their homes after October 21.

Size May Not Always Matter
Everyone has a budget, and consumers can expect to pay more in Canada’s biggest, costliest cities: namely, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. While some Canadians can afford the premium locations that come with square footage and put them close to work, shopping, green space, and more, they’re far from the majority. As a result, many urbanites with smaller budgets may compromise with a much smaller midtown or downtown condo, while others will drive or ride transit to work to get single-family home in the suburbs and outlying communities.

Hyper-Local Real-Estate Markets
Ask our realtors about fall market trends and chances are we will hesitate, ponder and then hem and haw. Why? More than ever before, markets are hyper-local with trends as well as supply and demand varying significantly city to city and province to province. As a result, savvy buyers and sellers will get super local when researching markets to ensure they have the information and insight they need to make good decisions. Figure out which specific neighbourhood appeals to you, then talk to a realtor about what’s new where you’re looking to buy.

Do your homework locally! Look at what’s happening in the specific city and as importantly, the neighbourhood you want to make your own. Look for real estate agents that really specialize and know specific niches and neighbourhoods firsthand.

Vacation Homes for All Ages
Every urban centre, from Vancouver to Montreal and everywhere in between, is experiencing somewhat of an exodus as residents opt for a seasonal, weekend pied-a-terre and a place to retire with leisure opportunities, a slower pace and spectacular views. Homes in these recreational communities certainly aren’t cheap but they’re more affordable than urban equivalents with multiple lifestyle benefits. That’s a dream Canadians are starting to make a reality sooner than later.