If you want to purchase a house in Oakville, Burlington, Milton or Halton Hills this year, you’ll face a hot market rife with competition and marked by sky-high prices.
According to data recently released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average house price in Halton hit $1,245,062 in March 2021.
In a news release, TRREB said that the average home price in the overall Toronto and GTA market climbed by 16.5 per cent year-over-year to hit almost $1.1 million, while home sales soared by 97 per cent to reach 15,652.
TRREB president Lisa Patel interpreted the numbers as a sign that consumer confidence has returned to the market and low mortgage rates are encouraging sales, but warned that they also spell trouble.
“While the robust market activity is indicative of widespread consumer optimism, it is also shedding light on the sustained lack of inventory in the GTA housing market, with implications for affordability,” she said in a release.
As for Halton, real estate website and brokerage Zoocasa said home sales for the month of March increased 101 per cent compared to last year with 1,647 homes sold in the region. The average price of a home in Halton rose 33 per cent to $1,245,062. Buyers faced more competition, as active listings for the region dropped 23 per cent year-over-year with 862 homes on the market at the end of the month.
Zoocasa said detached home sales increased 104 per cent year-over-year, with and 910 homes sold. Condo townhouses saw an increase of 92 per cent and 146 homes sold, with condo apartments in the region also seeing an annual increase of 85 per cent with 183 units sold. Semi-detached houses saw an increase of 75 per cent and 96 homes sold.
Zoocasa said the average home price grew for the more in-demand homes, with the average detached house in Halton selling for $1,551,804–35 per cent more than last March. The average semi-detached house sold for $981,546, with a 21 per cent uptick and the average condo townhouse sold for $742,348 with a 20 per cent uptick. Condo apartments in Halton had a strong month, growing by 20 per cent in one month to an average price of $706,959 (up 32 per cent from last year).
“Although demand for detached homes has been growing across the GTA, it’s interesting to see the steep increase in sales volume and price point for condo apartments in the Halton region as well; which now have an average price of $706,959,” said Zoocasa CEO Lauren Haw in a statement.
“Suburban condos can offer great value for homeowners in terms of price per square foot as suburban condos tend to offer more space than the tighter downtown core highrises.”
While some of the dramatic sales and price growth can be attributed to favourable borrowing conditions, TRREB said COVID-19 was also affecting year-over-year comparisons.
Almost 8,000 GTA homes with an average price of $902,787 changed hands in March 2020, when the first economic effects of the pandemic materialized and both buyers and sellers were wary of the market.
A year on, available inventory hasn’t caught up to the number of people seeking new homes, putting pressure on prices.
The number of listings grew by about 57 per cent to reach 22,709 from 14,434.
The influx in listings is normal for a spring market, but won’t take much, if any, of the heat off the market, said Dayle Carmody, a realtor in the region.
“What we’re going to see now with another lockdown … is the market get even crazier again,” she said.
She believes the frenzy is being fuelled by consumer confidence and a mindset shift that happens as people realized their early assumptions about COVID causing the market to crash are unlikely to come to fruition.
As they realize the market is heated, she’s seeing people struggle to snag a home and even, reassess their buying goals.
“It just pushes people back into the condo market and they move back down the affordability scale, because if they were hoping to get into a townhouse or semi, now they can’t afford it,” Carmody said.
GTA condos saw the smallest growth in prices, according to TRREB. The average condo price climbed by 2.6 per cent to $676,052.
The most dramatic price increases were seen in detached housing, where the average price was up by 26.6 per cent to hit $1,402,849.The average semi-detached home sold for $1,045,519, a 17.5 per cent hike, while townhouses spiked by 20.7 per cent at $870,553.
With files from Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press