The population of Guelph continues to rise. And there is a dramatic shortage of Guelph houses for sale.

If you’ve been reading our real estate blog or subscribed to our real estate newsletter, you’d likely notice a common theme- housing prices in Guelph are rising. This doesn’t happen by accident; it’s a function of an imbalance in supply and demand which causes prices to rise. That is, the population of Guelph is rising and not enough Guelph houses for sale to meet buyers demand. The result is that prices go up. If we suddenly had an influx of new listings, prices would settle down because buyers have more choice.

At the time of this writing (January 6, 2021), there are 26 available houses in Guelph. This dangerously low number means that the current housing supply in Guelph could be wiped out in 5 days or less!

Why aren’t people selling?

But most people won’t just sell their house because they can get a high price. The other half of the equation is that you need to buy a house, too. If you’re moving within Guelph, many sellers debate whether it’s worth it to pack up just to make a lateral move.

What we’re experiencing in Guelph is less Guelphites leaving and an influx of those from area code 437, 416 and 905 coming in. That wave of new buyers increasing the population of Guelph is overwhelming the little supply we have.

Your family situation has changed: 

Now that your children have moved out, you’ve outgrown your current home. Although 3 bedroom homes are the norm, perhaps you need a two bedroom home in Guelph?  Then, you could cash in some of the home equity you’ve built up for your retirement!

The other major change we’ve seen in an increase in those who have the flexibility to work from home. Home offices are back in style and they take many shapes: basement renovations, a converted garage, loft spaces and more.

You’ve got your eye on a different neighbourhood. 

When you moved to Guelph, you had priorities that kept you in a specific Guelph neighbourhood. But after living in Guelph for a while you’ve realized you actually like another area more!

Moving to that area could be easy, or a challenge. Things like available listings, price points and homes styles are all major factors in determining a neighbourhood move. As an example, a house in Clairfields is not the same as a home in downtown Guelph. Prices may be similar, but downtown Guelph homes for sale may be fewer! (note many neighbourhoods are named based on realtor maps)

If you are considering such a move, get in touch with your Guelph real estate agents to help you get the right house for your changing situation.

Your priorities have changed

The West End Rec Centre was great when your kids were taking swimming lessons, but they’re 14 now. Guelph General Hospital proximity was great when you worked there, but you have a different job now. 

Many homeowners had a motivation at a specific life moment. However, now this has changed and you don’t need to be in that location for a specific reason. As a result, you want to live closer to downtown, the highway, or a Guelph Public Library branch.

You should consider all the costs if the move is mostly lateral- moving can be very expensive. From land transfer tax, to legal fees and realtor commissions, it all adds up. Also consider the type of house you’re moving to: will it cost more on utilities and property tax? Are their condo fees?

You just want a change- and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Sometimes a homeowner just wants a change: new surroundings, a fresh start. Who says you need a “practical” reason to sell? If you’re looking to get into a new home just because you feel like it, that’s your choice. In fact, that may be the best reason of all to sell. You may simply want to move.

We’re noticing a trend. Area code 519 home sellers are deciding to sell in Guelph and move to smaller urban markets. Even though the population of Guelph is increasing, there are smaller Ontario towns of 30,000 people, as well as Atlantic Canada. Both of these options are popular these days!

You want to “unlock” some of that home equity

Let’s be honest- with COVID-19, some people have been hit hard with the unexpected pandemic of 2020. As a result, many have either been laid off or have decided it was time to reconsider their future. 

At the same time, Guelph homes prices have increased double digits in 2020, now worth more than ever. Selling now and actually banking some of that equity may give you the financial boost you need at the moment. 

Beth and Ryan Waller are top Guelph Realtors that write monthly for GuelphToday.