houses in brantford

This is the latest small Ontario city where home prices are exploding

The average price of a home continues to climb not only in Toronto, but in cities and towns all over the province as demand remains strong among buyers for a detached property... pretty much anywhere.

Initially thought to be driven by young people leaving downtown Toronto for larger, cheaper homes from which to work remotely (the COVID-19 urban exodus, it's been called), this phenomenon only appears to be intensifying as Ontario slowly reopens.

Ridiculous housing prices almost seem to be spreading from Toronto outward, like some sort of infectious disease (ha), first impacting other GTA locales, and then smaller regions farther and farther down the highway.

Yes, this type of sprawl been happening for many years, but the pandemic appears to have kicked the widespread depreciation of affordable housing into overdrive. We've seen it in Oshawa, Hamilton, Burlington, Guelph, Peterborough and even all the way down in Windsor.

The latest mid-sized Ontario city to attract attention from industry experts is Brantford, where RE/MAX reports that the "local real estate market is shooting ahead at such a pace that new records are being set month after month."

With an average year-to-date selling price of $706,903, home prices in Brantford have spiked by 36 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2020. In July specifically, average home prices reached a record $739,378, up a whopping 30.1 per cent over the year previous.

"The Brantford housing market has been considered a desirable place to live in Ontario, due to its proximity to the Greater Toronto Area and Niagara Falls, and its comparatively lower housing prices," wrote RE/MAX Canada recently of the Southwestern Ontario city, population just under 100,000 people.

The real estate juggernaut says that Brantford is "an appealing home-buying destination for those who wish to live near big-city amenities but are keen on the natural backdrop of the country."

Just under two hours from Toronto by car, home prices in Brantford are still reasonable enough (at least compared to here), but just like Toronto, they're shooting up fast due to supply constraints.

"The number of new listings saw a sharp decrease of 18.1% from July 2020," noted the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association in its latest housing market stats report.

"Active residential listings numbered 204 units on the market at the end of July, down sharply by 28.2% from the end of July 2020. Active listings haven't been this low in the month of July in more than three decades."

With listings currently 59.9 per cent below the 10-year average for July, it's not hard to see why sales are starting to slow down and prices keep shooting upward.

"As the year rolls on, the Brantford housing market may experience a continued surge of homebuyers from other parts of the province. Even as many companies pivot back to in-person operations, the buying trends within Brantford aren’t expected to shift dramatically," writes RE/MAX.

"With a convenient location so close to the epicentre of Toronto, homebuyers from Toronto may continue relocating outside of the GTA in search of affordable living opportunities and more greenspace. This would position cities like Brantford comfortably in a moderately hot real estate market until at least next year."

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