real estate ontario

Home prices in this Ontario city are exploding thanks to people leaving Toronto

While the dream of owning a home in Toronto gets increasingly out of reach for the vast majority, residents continue to set their sights on nearby townships that are still at least somewhat more reasonably priced.

The work-from-home trend spawned by the pandemic, coupled with lengthy forced closures of the businesses that make downtown T.O. appealing to live in, have meant a mass exodus of people from the city, many of whom are piqued by the novelties of far cheaper prices for more space and less crowding.

New transplants from the city have been setting down roots in places such as Barrie and Innisfil to the north, Brock and Oshawa to the east, and Hamilton and Burlington to the west — locales where real estate is significantly more affordable, and the city proper is still a fairly short drive away.

It's causing a flurry of real estate activity in these suburbs, including  way higher sales volumes than normal and in some cases, skyrocketing prices.

And, based on new data from the first few months of 2021, the trend is continuing despite a gradual return to normal life.

According to the experts at RE/MAX, Guelph is apparently the hot new place to relocate to when you're sick of the 6ix, alluring for its historic buildings, small-town vibe, GTA-adjacent location and, most importantly, cheap housing prices.

April of this year saw record-breaking sales numbers for the area, with a whopping $521.2 million in home sales taking place over the course of the month – up more than 350 per cent from the same time last year — and 585 homes sold, which is an increase of 240 per cent year-over-year.

Of course, unfortunately, with more interest comes higher prices, and compared to April 2020, an average home in the city hit $855,313 — still far below the more than $1.1 million you'd have to fork out for an average home in the Toronto region.

Though Guelph has seen a huge increase in the number of listings as supply meets demand, realtors warn that, like many southern Ontario cities and towns, the market will continue to heat up past its already "explosive" state as people give up on Toronto.

By this spring, more than half of first-time home buyers planned to make the move to 'burbs rather than trying to invest in the city proper, and even as the amenities that make Toronto cool to live in return, the prices and ability to work from anywhere will likely continue to drive people away.

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