The Covid-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slackening. Five months have elapsed since Canada’s housing market fell prey to this invisible enemy and had to freeze its business operations. Now, even after entering Stage 3 of unlocking the economy, the housing market still hasn’t been able to gain a strong foothold, though real estate sales have picked up.
One cannot deny that the real estate market of Canada braved the sudden onslaught of the pandemic with steely determination and have been successful in weathering off the impact to some extent. Though the jitters are still there in the minds of homebuyers about the opportune moment for entering the housing market, the overall picture of the property sector is filled with optimism.
Ontario home prices swell
Since the opening of the economy, housing sales have seen an impressive month-over-month increase in activity in many regions of Canada, with the Greater Toronto Market registering 83.8% of the sales in June. With homebuyers returning to the market in hordes, regions in and around Ontario have seen a spike in housing prices.
Oakville topped the list where average home prices increased a phenomenal $177,550 or 17% from previous year to $1,249,685. It was followed by Markham whose average home price rose 19% to $1,086,502. Aurora by 16% to $1,068,255, Vaughan by 13% to $1,154,352, Richmond Hill by 12% to $1,213,191, and Newmarket by 15% to $889,534, have also witnessed a significant surge in real estate prices.
Real estate experts have opined that property prices in the Ontario region will increase further due to dearth in the supply of housing inventory. However, people who need homes are still thronging online real estate platforms and going for open house visits. Those who were at various stages of home sale transactions are keen on completing the house owning procedure as quickly as possible.
A shift in housing behavior
With the pandemic still raging on, residents are scared to death about their health. Most of them who were mulling about renting a bigger home are now gravitating towards homeownership. According to a study by Ontario Real Estate Association, about 25% of renters in Ontario are more interested in buying a home while 54% have the same intention now as they had pre-pandemic.
Millennials aged between 18-34 top the survey (62%) for those who are actively looking to buy a home right now, while those between 35-54 come second (59%) in the survey.
What’s more conspicuous by the survey is that a lot of homebuyers are looking for homes in the suburbs and the peripheries of the cities where housing competition is low, and where they can get a great bang for their buck.
With rental prices and home rates touching sky-high, home seekers find cramping up in urban settings while forking out a handsome part of monthly income towards housing expenses, too much to be asking for. For the record, residents are using their homes not just for sleeping but are working there too. Hence the search for homes with more space outside the core city.
And who wouldn’t love to live in the countryside with acres of land at your disposal at almost the same price? Sounds a fair enough deal, isn’t it?
Homebuyers are taking out the factor of commuting to the office from their homebuying deals. With plenty of space in a suburb home for remote work while taking the commute to the office once or twice a week, hunkering in a two-bedroom house has become the ultimate aim of Ontarians.
Ontario suburbs see an increase in home sales
The change in the attitude of Ontarians towards home-buying in the suburbs and countryside has led to a surge in home sales. Visits to listed homes are on the rise, where people are looking mostly for bungalows and water-front properties.
Real estate agents attribute lower taxes, availability of high-speed internet, gas, water and good sewerage systems as the main factors for the increase in demand; not to mention the pleasure of living away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Though average home prices in the suburbs have risen owing to the increase in demand, Ontarians aren’t complaining as prices are still within affordable limits.
It is clear that the threat of the pandemic has goaded Ontarians to dip their toe in the suburb housing market. The appetite luxurious condos in downtown cities with upscale amenities are losing their sheen with homebuyers spooked by the menacing virus. The charm of staying in the countryside with swathes of space and healthy living opportunities is unmatchable at the moment.