Are mortgage shoppers ready to step off the sidelines?

Houses for sale in Ottawa

“Sometimes we have to just readjust the mindset to say ‘Yes, rates are coming down, but it’s not like they’re going down 2% tomorrow,’” he said. “If they do come down, it’s a slow drop. It’s not like the rate and mortgage market has changed drastically from last year. We’re still in the same range.”

Still, a mild drop in rates could present some opportunities for buyers. “If rates inch down a little bit, maybe that’s kind of their best buying opportunity because if they go down a lot, I think there are a lot of buyers that will flood the market,” Allard said, “and suddenly they’re buying the same house they were going to buy last year, just at a higher price and lower rate. It might all add up to the same thing.”

A prominent feature of the current market for prospective buyers is a competitive bidding climate, with homes placed at lower price points to impel higher interest and multiple offers.

That trend has only been exacerbated by continuing low levels of inventory, with little end in sight to the supply shortage gripping the market.

“There’s not a ton of good homes for sale. And so as soon as there’s a home that does not need work that’s priced correctly, it will spark interest,” Allard said. “And there may be a few potential buyers trying to bid on the same home.

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