Tag Archives: Kitchener-Waterloo

Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

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Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

Housing markets across Canada are expected to remain active for the remainder of 2020 due to pent-up demand and low inventory levels – with price growth in Ontario leading the way, according to a new report from ReMax Canada.

The ReMax Fall Market Outlook Report forecasts the average sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the year, compared to the 3.7 per cent increase that was predicted in late 2019.

The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of ReMax, 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55.

Pent-up demand

“The classically hot spring market that was pushed to the summer months due to the COVID-19 pandemic created a surprisingly strong market across Canada and across all market segments,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Looking ahead, government financial aid programs may be coming to an end in September, which could potentially impact future activity. However, the pent-up demand and low inventory dynamic may keep prices steady and bolster activity for the remainder of 2020. Overall, we are very confident in the long-term durability of the market.”

Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44 per cent of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.

Ontario housing market

With Ontario one of the provinces hit hardest by the pandemic, markets such as Niagara, Mississauga and Kitchener-Waterloo experienced significant drops in activity, but bounced back aggressively in June as economies began to reopen. Toronto continues to be a sellers’ market, with low listing inventory and high demand. An uptick in new listings is anticipated for fall, now that buyers and sellers are more comfortable engaging in the housing market. ReMax estimates a five-per-cent increase in average residential sale price in Toronto for the remainder of the year, with the potential for modest price increases of up to six per cent in regions such as Hamilton, Brampton and London.

Luxury market thriving

Canada’s overall luxury market has remained strong throughout the pandemic, with market conditions unchanged from the beginning of the year in most regions.

The luxury segment in Toronto is considered balanced, with Vancouver pushing into a sellers’ market. Vancouver is beginning to see more interest from move-up buyers instead of the foreign buyers who drove demand in Vancouver’s luxury market prior to COVID-19. This was likely due to travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic. In Toronto, activity was slower than usual this spring as buyers did not have any urgency to transact during the pandemic.

Luxury housing in secondary markets such as Hamilton is seeing a slight uptick in activity, with high-end buyers seeking more square footage and larger properties outside of city centres. Hamilton has experienced an increase in buyer interest from residents from Brampton and Mississauga looking to relocate to the region.


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Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don't ignore the east

Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don’t ignore the east

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Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don’t ignore the east

It’s not exactly earth-shattering news, since we’ve been able to observe the trend for the last few years, but a new report from ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada underlines just to what degree homebuyers are heading west.

West, as in Hamilton and Halton Region – Burlington, Oakville, Halton Hills and Milton.

In analyzing sales trends in nine Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts over the past five years, ReMax notes those areas captured 10.1 per cent of total market share in 2018, with a 2.3-per-cent increase over 2013.

The reasons are fairly obvious: The quest for homes at affordable prices. Indeed, this spillover effect has stimulated homebuying activity in most areas flanked by Toronto’s core and Hamilton. Burlington, in particular, soared between 2013 and 2018, with home sales almost doubling and average prices climbing 50 per cent to $769,142.

Builders of new homes also recognize the appetite for lowrise homes in the west.

But with such strong growth in Burlington, how long will this market remain an affordable option?

“The communities in the west will still be affordable compared to Toronto proper, but what we are going to see is a continued uptick in demand for more of the outlying communities like Brantford, Waterdown, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and even as far-reaching as London and Niagara,” Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, ReMax of Ontario-Atlanti Canada, told HOMES Publishing. “What will really impact the growth of these markets, outside of availability and affordability, will be the underlying transit systems and investments in local economies, as people still have a need to be connected to the GTA core.”

But, Alexander also told HOMES Publishing, the window of opportunity to head west may be closing.

“As the west end of the GTA continues to see growth and price appreciation, a leveling effect will likely come into play (with the east region),” he says.

GTA east areas such as Durham Region may not have the same appeal as the west – currently. “The west end of the GTA has a greater diversity of communities that are attracting a diverse range of buyers. In the past 10 years, there has been significant focus on the growth and development of these regions, whereas historically, Durham has not traditionally been viewed in this same regard. With the boom in areas towards the east, like Prince Edward County, and the affordability leveling out, we will likely see the tide begin to turn.”

So, yes, prospective homebuyers, go west if you like, but also keep an eye on the east.


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LOCAL FOCUS: Waterloo Region

Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge thrive in Waterloo Region

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Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge thrive in Waterloo Region

by Gale Beeby

HOUSING OPTIONS

Kitchener and Waterloo are mostly made up of single-family homes and there is a great selection of home types, from historic homes to modern townhouses and condos. But single-family homes are still the norm.

Click here to see a list of new homes for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The region has a lot of cultural venues and events, including the Contemporary Art Forum, The Open Ears Festival, IMPACT theatre festival, the Multicultural Festival, the Kitchener Blues Festival, Mill Race Festival and the Rock the Mill music festival.

It is also home to the Homer Watson House & Gallery, McDougall Cottage Historic Site, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Centre in the Square, The Cambridge Centre for the Arts and the Doon Heritage Museum.

Cambridge has some of the most historic bridges in Waterloo Region and the Black Bridge Road Bridge — built in 1916 — is Cambridge’s only truss bridge.

And, of course, Kitchener-Waterloo is home to Oktoberfest, an annual nine-day event that is billed as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival and is the largest Bavarian festival in the world outside Germany.

Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes Photo LF
Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes Photo LF

PARKS & REC

Kitchener’s oldest outdoor park is Victoria Park in the heart of downtown. A cast-bronze statue of Queen Victoria, which was unveiled on Victoria Day in 1911, is the centrepiece. Another significant park is Rockway Gardens, which occupies a long narrow strip of land alongside King Street. Here there are many fountains, ponds, waterfalls and rock grottoes.

The region has an extensive community trail system and the Grand River draws nature-seeking tourists to the region. The Grand River Conservation Authority operates 11 conservation areas.

RETAIL THERAPY

The downtowns of each of the region’s cities and townships offer some very stylish and forward-thinking retailers, as well as restaurants, cafés, salons and spas. Fairview Park is Kitchener’s largest shopping mall, while Conestoga Mall in Waterloo is also home to the Galaxy Cinemas. In Cambridge, the Cambridge Centre also has an NHL-sized ice rink.

EASY ACCESS

The Conestoga Parkway is the area’s main highway, connecting with Highway 401. Public Transit throughout the Region of Waterloo is provided by Grand River Transit, which was created by a merger of Cambridge Transit and Kitchener Transit. GRT operates a number of bus routes in Kitchener, with many running into Waterloo and two connecting to Cambridge.

GO Transit provides bus service from Kitchener to Mississauga Square One and train service to Union Station during rush hours. Passenger train service is provided by Via Rail.

The Region of Waterloo International Airport is in Breslau.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 583,500

Known best for: Oktoberfest

Walk scores:

Kitchener: Average of 47

Waterloo: Average of 44

Cambridge: Average of 44

RegionOfWaterloo.ca


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