Durham remains most affordable region in GTA

By: Eleanor King & Maurice King

Durham remains most affordable region in GTA

Tags: real estate, buyers, sellers, Durham

There are some signs the real estate market is starting to ease, but it remains in seller’s territory this spring, despite rising prices and interest rate hikes.

One real estate company is forecasting a 15 per cent increase in Canada’s aggregate home price and a 16.5 per increase in the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter last year because demand continues to outpace supply. 
Royal LePage issued its forecast with the April 19 release of its House Price Survey, which found the aggregate price of a home in Canada increased 25.1 per cent year-over-year to $856,900 and the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) increased 27.7 per cent year-over-year to almost $1.27 million in the first quarter of 2022. 
Still, there was a definite slowdown in both activity and price growth in March compared to February, led by declines in the GTA and Calgary, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reports. Many are welcoming these first signs of moderation. 
Here in Durham Region, the average price dipped 6.5 per cent to nearly $1.15 million in that time and remains the most affordable region in the GTA. “There is a shift happening and we expect to see further corrections still but nothing overly substantial,” says Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR) President Meredith Kennedy. “Listings are up and so are the amount of sales which is great to see for so many buyers.” 
Residential transactions in Durham rose 23.5 per cent to 1,390 in March. New listings increased to 2,473, a month-over-month increase of over 53 per cent and a 12 per cent drop from the record setting period last year. The MLS® Home Price Index and Composite Benchmark price for all home types in Durham reached nearly $1.16 million – a 42.49 per cent increase from 2021.

Durham affordable, welcoming

In the first quarter of 2022, the average price of a single-family detached home in Oshawa crossed the million-dollar threshold for the first time. That increase is driven largely by Torontonians who continue to search for affordable homes within a reasonable commuting distance while working partially or fully remotely.

Here’s how average prices across Durham compare: Ajax ($1,222,746), Brock ($1,057,415), Clarington ($1,076,798), Oshawa ($1,010,701), Pickering ($1,233,542), Scugog ($1,287,288), Uxbridge ($1,470,730), Whitby ($1,274,407).

The provincial government’s decision this spring to remove tolls from Hwys. 412 in Whitby and 418 in Clarington – which connect Hwy. 401 to Hwy. 407 – makes Durham even more attractive because it will save local commuters hundreds of dollars annually and help attract more jobs and opportunity to the region while also reducing congestion on local roads. 

Durham also boasts a strong, integrated transit network. Metrolinx offers frequent all-day, two-way GO Trains on the Lakeshore East line between Oshawa and Downtown Toronto/Union Station and plans to significantly increase trains to Bowmanville. 

End of blind bidding? 

Could this be the beginning of the long-awaited cooling of the red-hot market? Only time will tell but if you’re thinking of buying and/or selling, it’s more important than ever to have a local realtor on your side. King Home Team: Royal Heritage Realty has the information, knowledge and guidance you’ll need if you’re planning to enter the market this year. 
On April 6, CREA announced plans to introduce a pilot project this summer in select markets across Canada to display real-time tracking of offers on REALTOR.ca listings.
And beginning next year, home sellers in Ontario will have the option of allowing their real estate agents share the contents of competing offers with the buyers bidding on their property. 
Under the current system of blind offers, real estate brokerages that represent clients must disclose the number of written bids but not the substance of those bids. Some believe blind bidding has contributed to soaring prices in the GTA because buyers don’t know how much more they need to beat the next highest offer and say changes will usher in welcome transparency. 
Again, only time will tell what kind of impact – if any – the new legislation will have. King Home Team: Royal Heritage Realty carefully follows real estate pricing trends and other news related to real estate so we can help you make smart real estate decisions.