Hamilton and Burlington see real estate boom as exodus from Toronto continues
It's no secret that the pandemic has prompted many former die-hard Toronto residents to reconsider life in the big city and relocate to smaller, more affordable towns and cities with more space, and it seems as though Hamilton-Burlington's real estate market is reaping the benefits as a result.
According to a report from RE/MAX, residential sales in the area have been consistently soaring compared to pre-pandemic.
"The Hamilton-Burlington real estate market has been attracting buyers with more than just its homes," reads the report, which lists some of the most popular attractions in the region including the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Art Gallery of Burlington.
"Then there's the Hamilton-Burlington real estate market itself, which has become a focus for homebuyers seeking to escape the urban confines of downtown Toronto in search of bigger homes, yards with swimming pools, and room to breathe."
Based on statistics from the REALTORS Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB), the region saw an increase in residential sales of almost 25 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020.
"This number comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the ascent of this sizzling-hot market over the past year," notes the report.
The average price for a residential property in the local Hamilton-Burlington real estate market currently sits at $787,840, representing an increase of almost 8 per cent compared to last month.
The sales increase is also having a major impact on the region's inventory levels, unsurprisingly, with single-detached homes remaining on the market for a median of just 10 days when 2020's fourth quarter concluded, with 0.7 months of inventory available.
This is a significant change compared against the end of 2019, when single-detached properties were on the market for an average of 22 days and inventory levels sat at 2.4 months.
"This year's decline in new listings builds off the back of the pre-pandemic drop in new listings and inventory levels we experienced in January 2020," said RABH President Donna Bacher in the report.
"In addition, now many homeowners may not be interested in or even able to move their households due to the pandemic, adding to our inventory woes," she continued.
"The decrease in single-family homes available for purchase, coupled with the logistical hurdles families face moving during a pandemic, may have greatly influenced many not to put their home on the market."
While detached homes are seeing the greatest impact from these trends, the average prices for townhouses and apartment-style condos also increased by 28.8 per cent and 64.7 per cent in January, respectively.
"Yet prices remain extremely attractive to homebuyers who are being priced out of the GTA," notes the report.
And if prices aren't enough incentive for buyers looking to leave Toronto, unemployment rates in the region are also on the decline.
Unemployment is currently 1.2 per cent less than December 2020, according to the report, and an additional 1,600 employment opportunities in the region surfaced in January 2021 alone.
Looking ahead, RE/MAX doesn't expect this pattern to stop anytime soon, with economic growth and real estate opportunities likely to continue in the area thanks to interest rates sitting at an all-time low.
"If market trends continue," reads the report, "the projected analysis based on RE/MAX's Hamilton Burlington Housing Market Outlook, is for a 7 per cent increase in average price driven by move-up buyers from the Greater Toronto Area, as well as first-time buyers snatching up the relatively affordable townhome and condo properties within the region."
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