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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Why January is the best month to buy a house

ANALYSIS: If you are thinking of buying a home in 2016, TheRedPin says you should do so today.

Research has shown that Jan. 19 is the best day to get the cheapest deal in Toronto. Average prices in January are roughly $60,000 less than they are in May — which is traditionally the busiest time in real estate. The key day has passed, but January is still the best month of the year to buy.

Those who list in January typically do so out of need verses want. So January sellers are often looking to make a deal. This gives buyers more leverage and negotiating power.

The average cost of a home in January is $43,000, which is less than the average home price in the calendar year and almost $60,749 less than the average cost of a home bought in May, the most expensive month.

While these numbers are specific to Toronto's market, the same principles can be applied to other hot housing markets like Vancouver.

Down to the day

Getting more specific, Tuesdays are the best day of the week to make an offer. Why? Simply because most listing go off the market on Tuesdays (as a result of being sold).

Cold weather, slushy streets and holiday debt means that for most big purchases are not on most people's radar in January. Less volume translates in fewer bidding wars.

Embrace the slow sales cycle - on average homes take 38 per cent longer to sell in January verses the peak season 29 days vs 18 days. You have the luxury on time you don't have in the spring.

First-time home buyers

If you are a first-time home buyer trying to decide do I buy a home or save for retirement , a new survey by Tangerine found that contrary to popular belief, millennials start saving for retirement at an early age. In fact, 62 per cent of millennials are saving for retirement and 46 per cent start before the age of 24.

Millennials also appear to have their sights set high, with 40 per cent believing they will need more than $1 million saved for retirement. To meet this expectation, many millennials (63 per cent) expect to retire over the age of 60, which is slightly more optimistic than the rest of Canadians, with 74 per cent expecting to retire over the age of 60.

Survey results have consistently shown that Canadians expect to retire later in life, or they’ve had to return to work after retirement,

Managing priorities

Of those 38 per cent of millennials not yet saving for retirement, many (62 per cent) say it’s because of their low salary or not having enough money, and another 23 per cent said it’s because they are saving for a big ticket item like a house, a wedding, or travel.

‘YOLO’ or retire young?

  • 59 per cent of millennials would only go out once a week to socialize with friends in order to retire before the age of 65
  • 47 per cent of millennials would give up takeout food and cook all their meals to retire before the age of 65
  • Over a quarter (28 per cent) of millennials would work 50+ hours a week for the remainder of their working career to retire in their 50s
  • 43 per cent of millennials would give up all forms of social media to retire before the age of 50
  • 22 per cent of millennials would forego contributions to their retirement savings for a luxury 'must-have' purchase like a smart phone, concert tickets or designer

Oh if only it were this easy. I will say making small changes can yield big results overtime. So I think they may be on to something here…

(Statistics from TheRedPin.ca)

As the Chief Financial Commentator for CTV News, Pattie Lovett-Reid gives viewers an informed opinion of the Canadian financial climate. Follow her on Twitter @PattieCTV

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