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  • Barbara Singh

Homebuyers Are Seeking Cheaper Pastures and Stretching both Space and Their Housing Dollar

By now it is fairly clear that there is not any rhyme or reason when it comes to what has transpired in the housing market during the global pandemic. Expectations by many well-established real estate professionals forecasted doom and gloom in the housing sector across the country with the potential for properties to go into free fall in terms of overall potential depreciation.

Quite evident that this forecast did not occur. Although there were tangible factors that led to the market going into overdrive such as historically low-interest rates and a lack of inventory, no one could predict such favorable trends in the Canadian housing market, especially more so true for Ontario and parts of British Columbia.

Property appreciation has routinely been in the double digits. The latest real estate numbers for the Toronto July 2021 housing report have revealed that the average home price of a single detached property has skyrocketed to $1.1 million. This represents a 32% year-over-year increase compared to early summer 2020.

Buyers are Feeling the Financial Pinch and Want More Space

With newly found property appreciation and the costs of living and/or buying new property becoming impossible for many, up to 21% of homeowners have left large urban centers such as Toronto to seek out larger properties in smaller cities. Buyers want more space and more bang for their buck.

Realtors have not been oblivious to this trend and Moneysense recently listed the areas that are now the least affordable to buy as we slowly lift ourselves out of the pandemic. We also have a rundown on some smaller hidden jewels to buy where your housing dollar will stretch further.

According to Moneysense and Zoocasa, the least affordable cities to both buy a property and live are ranked as:

  1. Vancouver - Average house price now stands at $1.057 Million

  2. Oakville - Milton - Average house price now stands at $1.116 Million

  3. Toronto - Average house price now stands at $ 915,001

  4. Mississauga - Average house price now stands at $ 922,750

  5. Victoria - Average house price now stands at $ 718,508

High household incomes are required to qualify for mortgages in these locations, often in the 6 figure range before a lender will consider mortgage financing.

To contrast these dizzying numbers, some areas that are maybe off the radar for many can offer a buyer more financial wiggle room and increased space to live and work from home:

  1. Langford, BC - Average home price $725,300

  2. Kelowna, BC - Average home price- $ 553,175

  3. Trois Rivières - Average home price- $224,600

  4. Bathurst, NB - Average home price- $ 112,850

  5. Rossland, BC - Average home price- $ 443,889

  6. Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON - Average home price- $515,000

  7. Cowichan Bay, BC - Average home price $ 561,900

  8. Sydney, NS - Average home price $ 157,338

  9. Penticton, BC - Average home price $523,386

  10. Quebec City, QC - Average home price- $ 282,000

Regardless of where a homebuyer chooses to live, two things have become abundantly clear during this severe pandemic; buyers are looking for more space and want to stretch their home dollars further.

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