As one of Halton region’s largest municipalities, Milton real estate is hot for homebuyers seeking the home of their dreams.

“Despite industry warnings that the market would cool off in the last half of the year, we continue to notice a rise in all data points and figures. When you take into consideration this year’s challenges of COVID-19 prompting a near full-stop to any public open houses and drastically reduced in-person meetings for listing or buying, this truly is an incredible real estate market,” said Oakville Milton District Real Estate Board (OMDREB) President Richard Weima.

Real estate agents in Milton were able to quickly adapt to public health measures and conduct business online. By relying on technology solutions like e-signatures and virtual open houses, activity in this market has persisted. The OMDREB was even the first to press the pause button on open houses, when the virus surfaced in Ontario in March of this year.

While this year has been characterized by a string of unprecedented conditions – both within the national economy and housing markets – experts are predicting the market will be strong through the tail end of 2020. This could be the result of lingering pent-up demand from the spring home-buying season, as people were eager to get their hands on real estate as soon as circumstances permitted them to do so.

Below we explore the trends that are currently defining the dynamic Milton housing market, and share our projections for this local market as we shift into 2021.

Shifting Lifestyle Preferences

Milton, like other suburban areas, is benefitting from lifestyle shifts due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing.

As more people bid adieu to big-city-living, many are instead setting their sights upon the suburbs in search of spacious floor plans and access to green space. Houses with multiple levels and home offices are desirable, as people have pivoted to work-from-home environments during the pandemic. Many homes have all transformed into multi-purpose spaces where we work, play, stay fit and relax; having multiple levels in a home can provide the privacy that many of us are craving. Commute time has become less of a priority as a result of more companies adopting remote-work scenarios as a long-term solution, whether full-time or part-time.

Those with children and pets are eager to have outdoor space, whether it be a backyard, front yard or access to neighbourhood green space such as parks and playgrounds.

Home Prices in the Milton Housing Market

The pandemic has not had adverse effects on the value of Milton real estate. In this region, the average sale price for a home in October 2020 was $1,103,050, up 23.1 percent from $896,406 in 2019.

Milton is expected to continue to be a higher-priced market into the end of the year. This means COVID-19 has not led to softened prices, pointing to a healthy housing market despite the pandemic. Similar to other suburban markets such as Durham Region, homebuyers are looking outside the city to Halton Region to see what’s out there.

Milton Home Sales

As the condo market takes a hit in Toronto, this is providing an opportunity for suburban regions with larger floor plans to attract more activity. This trend seems to be adding fuel to Milton real estate activity. Realtors have even seen multiple offers on homes, with some being sold for well-over asking, indicating the level of competition to secure a home in this market.

Milton continues to be a sellers’ market with limited inventory – sellers can use these conditions to their advantage to get a better offer on their home.

For the month of October, the average home sales in Milton were 211, which compared to the 97 home sales in the same month last year, is a significant increase year-over-year.

Low Interest Rates Driving Demand

Another factor affecting the market is the decision made earlier in the year to reduce interest rates to 0.25 per cent. The Bank of Canada implemented this change in order to support the economy. With rates the lowest they’ve ever been, this will incentivize homebuyers to make the leap into home ownership. Buyers can borrow money at a lower cost, allowing them to purchase a larger home or get more of the amenities they want.

As Weima confirms, “we are seeing some softness in the condo numbers as lower interest rates and fewer tenancies has provided great opportunity for buyers seeking more spaciousness in property and home lifestyle, driving them out from higher density neighbourhoods to wide open suburban spaces.”

The Milton real estate market is experiencing high levels of activity despite the coronavirus pandemic. The desire for more space has led to many homebuyers setting their sights on suburban areas like Milton, where they can enjoy large lots and green space. Based on current trends, this robust activity within the local market is expected to continue into the new year.