In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Ontario’s real estate valuations have increased by 29.9%, according to a new study by HelloSafe.
Over the 12 months ending this March, the highest rate of increase in the province was 47.7%, which was seen in the Windsor Essex area.
“Despite an unprecedented economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario’s housing market is not slowing down,” HelloSafe said in its study. “Ontario’s real estate prices increased faster between March 2020 and March 2021 than in British Colombia (29.9% vs 20.2%) – which proves Ontario’s housing market dynamism despite the gloomy circumstances of the COVID-19.”
HelloSafe pointed to record-low interest rates and pent-up demand as the main drivers of the trend.
Read more: Could rates rise sooner than first thought?
Ontario’s average real estate transaction price ($890,035) is also $174,000 above the national level. For perspective, this makes it “almost twice more expensive to buy a house in Ontario than in Nova Scotia,” HelloSafe reported. “The city of Toronto and its surroundings are responsible for the real estate prices being so high, concentrating great parts of the province’s economy, jobs and population.”
However, despite this overheating, Ontario is still not the most expensive housing market in Canada.
As of March, “Ontario’s prices are lower [by] $55,000 than the average real estate price in British Columbia – which is the most expensive province in Canada.”