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The Toronto Real Estate Board's numbers for the month of January 2014 are out, and one thing is clear: the spring market, as the Globe and Mail asserts, has already started. Average home prices are up more than 9% year-over-year, a larger percentage increase than we've seen in many months.

Obviously, this phenomenon isn't due to the joy of house-hunting in knee-deep snow. Instead, it's because of competition. Although sales numbers are down 2.2% from January 2014, new listings are down an astonishing 16.6%. Quite simply, there just isn't enough supply on the market to fulfill the demand of hungry Toronto homebuyers. Multiple offer situations are common, and it's rarely been a better time to sell.

This dramatic rise in re-sale prices isn't new, though; it's been going on since the spring market of 2013. They consistently outdid previous records going back as far as 2010, with the average re-sale price cracking $550,000. Average prices themselves are at a twenty-year high; the average price in January 1995 was between $175,000 and $225,000. The same goes for condos: sales remained strong through the end of 2013, with average prices rising 6.5% compared to 2012.

Knowing this, is it worth it to put your home on the market earlier in the spring? Yes. You'll be targeting serious buyers who really need homes and are willing to pay top dollar for them, rather than dabblers who are just enjoying open house season. Also, there's something to be said for getting in ahead of the rush -- home buyers will be bombarded with marketing in the late spring; an easy way to distinguish your home and its message is to start ahead of time. We're less than two months into the New Year, and spring is a time for new beginnings, for taking stock and assessing needs, wishes, and possible changes. Why not let your home be part of someone's resolution to have a wonderful 2014 in a beautiful new space?

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