If you blinked, you might have missed the alleged COVID-19 discount in the housing market earlier this year. While some homebuyers were hoping to finally see some relief in skyrocketing real estate valuations following the coronavirus pandemic, many sellers saw their property values spike in the double-digits compared to last year. Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Pickering real estate is witnessing a significant rebound in their respective markets.

You may have heard about the big city exodus that has been happening in the aftermath of the public health crisis. Since more people are working from home and companies are adopting telecommuting options, families have greater flexibility as to where they can live. As a result, many households are packing up, bidding farewell to their big-city lifestyle, and setting their sights on suburban and rural communities promising more space and budget-friendly real estate price tags. The Pickering real estate market has ostensibly been a beneficiary of this trend in recent months.

But just how hot is the Pickering real estate market? Based on recent trends and local developments, this small but vibrant GTA community is on track to be one of the hotbeds of growth in the coming years.

GTA Housing Market: Pickering Real Estate Snapshot

Durham Region has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the Greater Toronto Area and the rest of Ontario. With greater affordability than the west end of the GTA and easy accessibility to the downtown core, housing demand continues to grow. Pickering has enjoyed comparable success to its Durham neighbours, such as Oshawa and Whitby.

In October, Pickering residential real estate sales were steady, down 1.3 per cent from the previous month but up 40 per cent from the same time a year ago. Here is a breakdown of average prices by home type based on the latest market statistics:

  • Detached: $1.032 million
  • Townhouse: $704,382
  • Condominium: $532,273

(Source)

Moreover, the number days on the market for a Pickering listing was just 14, and the number of active listings stood at 146.

Province-wide, housing professionals have done a commendable job since the height of the public health crisis to keep the sector afloat and facilitate buying and selling as safely as possible. Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR) President Vicki Sweeney noted how important real estate is to the economic recovery, but she still stressed how critical virtual tools are in today’s environment.

“Although real estate continues to be an essential service, Realtors are encouraged to continue to use virtual tools and practice safe business procedures. Realtors need to be leaders in their communities and should only be using in-person open houses as a last resort when selling a home. We must continue to put the health and safety of our communities first by using virtual tools,” said Sweeney in a statement.

Why is Pickering Real Estate so Attractive?

In the last couple of years, Pickering has been a hotbed of development, which is a positive trend for the broader real estate sector. With the addition of the Durham Live entertainment complex, an innovation corridor, and a massive warehouse and logistics facility over the next few years, Pickering is undoubtedly a jurisdiction primed to thrive.

This does not include the on-again, off-again creation of the Pickering airport. Although KPMG stated in March that an airport in Pickering would be unnecessary before 2036, the endeavour could serve as a stimulus project in the post-coronavirus economic recovery, proponents say. Plus, regional analysts believe the Pickering Airport Lands could serve a diverse array of uses. After several decades in limbo, the timeline of this development remains uncertain, but its creation will have an impact upon the local economy and residential development in the northern half of the city, as well as across the Durham Region. Ultimately, Pickering is an appealing place because it blends small-town charm with a municipality that is in the early stages of massive development.

Pickering’s success is part of the broader Durham Advantage. Durham has marketed its region as having the land, location, people, infrastructure, and balanced living to ensure a diverse economic base, competitive business costs, and a superior quality of life.

Because it is located just outside of Canada’s biggest market, Durham Region offers prime access to more than five million people. This allows businesses to continue tapping into a lucrative market while maintaining a modest distance from the downtown core. As credit continues to be cheap, developers will invest in new commercial ventures, whether in the city, or in the more affordable Pickering industrial zone.

The same principle applies to homeowners who want to maintain proximity to Toronto, but are itching for more space, affordability, and a small-town community feel; Pickering delivers on all fronts.

Will the Pickering Housing Market Maintain the Momentum in 2021?

Some of the month-to-month data may suggest that Pickering is losing the housing market momentum it sustained over the summer. However, many factors will likely contribute to Pickering and the broader Durham Region’s burgeoning real estate sector over the next several months. The Bank of Canada (BoC) has slashed interest rates to nearly zero, and the central bank does not intend to raise rates for another few years. Pickering is not within the province’s COVID-19 “red zone,” which means the municipality continues to move forward with its recovery plans. The trend for households to leave hyper-dense locations may continue heading into the new year. As we creep into 2021, this could be the year of the Durham Region Reign over Ontario housing market demand!