Ontario Housing Market Looks Promising for 2016

Despite warnings that a housing downturn is on the horizon for Canada, the outlook for the Ontario market continues to be promising. According to the RE/Max Housing Market Outlook 2016, most of the province experienced a buyer’s market in 2015 with few signs that demand will slow down significantly in 2016.

The report noted that 91% of Canadians see home ownership as part of the Canadian dream. Most Canadians are working towards either their first home or moving up on the property ladder. Retirees looking to downsize are bringing life to parts of Ontario that have seen less demand over the past decade. Overall, the demand for homes continues to outpace supply in most areas of the province.

A Balanced Market in Some Areas

Parts of the province, including London-St. Thomas, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa offered a more balanced market with housing supply just about meeting demand. These areas continue to be popular with new Canadians and first time homebuyers moving to the area to take advantage of the growing tech sector. These cities are also planning LRT lines popular with younger urban dwellers.

Retirees Opening Up New Opportunities

Windsor-Essex presents an interesting opportunity as the area is fast becoming popular with retirees. Affordable prices, fairly moderate weather and proximity to the US border are attracting buyers to the area looking to downsize. At the same time, the construction of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge is offering new opportunities in the area. The condo inventory in the area is low, which may offer an opportunity for development.

Barrie is another interesting market. While new home development is underway, the inventory is not keeping up with demand. The highest demand is for homes in the $300,000 – $350,000 price range. In addition to single-family homes, buyers are also looking for condos, which continue to be in short supply.

Demand for Single-Family Homes in GTA

 The GTA remains in a seller’s market position. Prices increased about 10% in 2015, and are expected to increase 5% in 2016. Single-family homes are most in demand. There is a large inventory of condos on the market. Condo prices are not keeping pace with the prices for single-family homes. Most buyers who want to move from condo to detached houses have to move to suburban areas in Mississauga, Brampton and Durham.

Alternative Market in Hamilton-Burlington

Hamilton and Burlington offer a good alternative for the GTA market. With expanded Go train services and a new LRT line, Hamilton and Burlington offer an attractive option. This is another area where there may be increased demands for condos as that market begins to emerge.

Overall Ontario will see interesting times ahead. The low Canadian dollar is expected to have a positive impact on manufacturing and exports. Interest rates are not likely to rise; however, new down payment regulations may have somewhat of a cooling effect on first time homebuyers.

Work with the Experts

There are many factors to consider when planning a development project. Market is just one critical factor. MarshallZehr is here to help through the entire process.

Talk to us about how we can help with financing plans that reduce delays and get projects completed faster. Call today to learn how the MarshallZehr approach to financing can make a difference for your development project.