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kingston ontario

This Ontario city has the fastest-rising home prices in all of Canada right now

One city's loss is another city's gain in the wild world of mid-pandemic Ontario real estate, and the mass exodus of potential homebuyers from Toronto is producing some considerable gains for some smaller markets lately.

Kingston, population 123,798, is just one city that can now thank Toronto's sky-high home prices for an influx of new residents who've driven up property values by purchasing homes they can actually afford.

A new report from Royal LePage highlights the city roughly three hours east of the GTA as a "Goldilocks" market — not too big, not too small, the "perfect combination of downtown lifestyle and suburban comfort."

Too cold to enjoy as porridge, climate-wise, but on fire right now as a place to live, posting the highest rate of home price appreciation in the entire country last quarter, according to Royal LePage.

The aggregate price of a home in Kingston increased 38.1 per cent year-over-year to reach $722,100 in the fourth quarter of 2021, while the median price of a single-family detached home went up by 44.3 per cent to reach $780,600.

"These figures claimed the top spots among the 62 regions covered in the quarterly report," writes Royal LePage. "During the same period, the median price of a condominium increased 20.1 per cent to $423,600."

Considering that the average condo in Toronto is now over $740,000 and single-family detached home prices are just under 1.6 million, that's still quite reasonable for young people looking to upgrade from renting — something that's proving increasingly impossible in Canada's largest city.

"The COVID-19 pandemic, with its widespread lockdowns and total overhaul of how many of us work, learn, and perform just about every daily activity, accelerated an already growing trend in Canada; city dwellers heading in droves to smaller towns and secondary cities outside of the country's largest urban centres," reads the Royal LePage report.

"Homebuyers from the Greater Toronto Area looking outside the city limits have made a significant impact on the real estate markets of many regions in the Golden Horseshoe. Kingston is certainly one of them."

Demand is high in Kingston but, like Toronto, inventory remains limited, forcing house prices up (much to the delight of current property owners, one would assume.)

One local realtor estimates that about 40 to 50 per cent of buyers in Kingston today are from outside the region, most of them from the GTA.

Toronto is beginning to see the impacts of this big city-to-small town trend in its population numbers, but there's no end in sight yet to the stratospheric rise of house prices in the 6ix as far as experts are concerned.

Kingston's looking pretty good right now, to be honest; I mean, if you're going to be working from home and surrounded by snow anyway, it would be nicer to do it from a house with multiple rooms and a backyard... not to mention for significantly less money per month on a mortgage than what one pays for rent in downtown Toronto.

A millennial can dream... but also, Kingston is far.

Lead photo by

Kelvin Clark - Kingston Drone Pros

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