As buyers search for their perfect home, some are looking to northern Ontario to see if they can scoop up a property at an affordable price. It’s no wonder many are setting their sights on Sudbury, which has the largest population of any city in northern Ontario and continues to develop in exciting ways.

While it’s located almost four hours north of Toronto, Sudbury could be a real estate market to watch for those willing to travel.

Here are a few things to know about the Sudbury housing market:

Livability in Sudbury  

Sudbury is referred to as the “nickel city” based on the region’s longtime history with the mining industry. However, it has since expanded its other industries such as retail, health, education and more, helping people with diverse employment find job opportunities here. Sudbury is also considered an important education hub for post-secondary students.

This northern city is making important strides to attract young homebuyers to the area. Developing green spaces, building cultural centres and other sustainability initiatives will continue to make Sudbury more appealing to homebuyers over the next three to five years. For active individuals, residents enjoy hundreds of lakes and scenic wilderness trails.

Homebuyers – especially first-time buyers – who find themselves priced out of the Greater Toronto Area are expanding their search parameters in search of affordability. As a result, they may turn their attention to markets like Sudbury, which provides many the opportunity to secure a spacious property at the right price.

Sudbury Before COVID-19

If we look back to before the coronavirus outbreak, reports indicated that the Sudbury housing market was steady. Popular neighbourhoods such as South End and New Sudbury continued to see traction.

Prior to the pandemic, RE/MAX expected average sale prices in Sudbury to increase by two per cent in 2020. The average house price in Sudbury was $289,500 (Jan-Oct 2019), a bargain compared to markets in southern Ontario.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported Sudbury’s average home selling price in March 2020 was a record $319,860, up 21.7 per cent year-over-year. Meanwhile, new listings were down 4.1 per cent year-over-year. This echoes a similar narrative of low housing supply reported in many of Canada’s key housing markets.

According to CREA’s market report, supply levels have been on a steady decline since early 2015 – conditions that have accelerated their decline starting in 2018. March 2020 had 2.7 months of inventory, down from four months at this same time last year and well below the long-term March average of 5.5 months.

Sudbury Market Now

Unemployment rates are likely to be a factor for those considering buying Sudbury real estate. The unemployment rate in this city was 8.4% in May 2020, with job losses occurring mostly in the information and culture services, and in the accommodation and food service industries.

Homebuyers who are still in the market will enjoy the advantage of Sudbury’s affordability along with the current low interest rate. The Bank of Canada slashed the benchmark rate to 0.25 per cent in early March. While, job security may be uncertain for some Sudbury remains a relatively affordable place to live.

Sudbury is growing, and increasing livability could draw more people into this market, now and in the future.