The Hamilton-Burlington housing market experienced a decline in activity starting in mid-March due to COVID-19, which has been the case from coast to coast. In further lockstep with most Canadian housing markets, Hamilton and Burlington activity has come back strong, with Burlington home sales in May and June 2020 surpassing year-over-year levels, according to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report. Hamilton and Burlington are currently experiencing strong seller’s markets, with up to 80% of all available inventory selling out each month.
Recreational markets in both Hamilton and Burlington have also seen an uptick in buyer interest and activity, which has also been the case in many Ontario real estate markets. This is expected to continue, as we move into 2020.
The luxury markets in Hamilton and Burlington have also held strong, with increasing interest from buyers in Peel Region and Toronto. This indicates shifting buyer desire for more space outside of city centres.
Based on these factors, it is expected that the Hamilton and Burlington housing market will see average price increase 3% to 4% through the remainder of the year.
Ontario Real Estate Trends
What’s been happening across other Ontario real estate markets? With the province being one of the hardest-hit regions in Canada, markets such as Niagara, Mississauga and Kitchener-Waterloo experienced significant drops in activity. However, come June, they bounced back aggressively as economies began to reopen. With all of Ontario now in phase three of re-opening and consumers more comfortable engaging in the market, market activity in Ontario is expected to remain steady in the fall, with modest price increases of up to 6% in some regions.
Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across Canada’s housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6% during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7% increase that was predicted in late 2019.
The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group. Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44% of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.
Canadians equally split on their confidence in the housing market
Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canada’s real estate market, with 39% as confident as they were prior to the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident. When it comes to the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19, 56% of Canadians who are feeling confident in Canada’s real estate market are still likely to buy or sell. “The classically hot spring market that was pushed to the summer months due to the COVID-19 pandemic created a surprisingly strong market across Canada and across all market segments,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Looking ahead, government financial aid programs may be coming to an end in September, which could potentially impact future activity; however, the pent-up demand and low inventory dynamic may keep prices steady and bolster activity for the remainder of 2020. Overall, we are very confident in the long-term durability of the market.”Additional highlights from the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report Survey:
48% of Canadians would like to live closer to green spaces
48% of Canadians say it’s more important than ever to live in a community close to hospitals and clinics
33% of Canadians would like more square footage in their home and have realized they need more space
44% of Canadians want a home with more outdoor space and personal amenities (i.e. balcony, pool etc.)
About the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report The 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report includes data and insights supplied by RE/MAX brokerages. RE/MAX brokers and agents are surveyed on market activity and local developments.
Seller’s market to prevail in 2020, prices to increase 3.8%
The Hamilton-Burlington housing market will favour sellers in 2020, with an average residential sale price increase of 3.8 per cent anticipated for the region next year, in line with historical price appreciation.
Hamilton-Burlington is currently experiencing a seller’s market, with 1.9 months of inventory in Hamilton and 1.6 months of inventory in Burlington. Buyers have adjusted to the mortgage stress test and have found other ways to finance home purchases, such as through private lenders as opposed to banks.
There is currently a development freeze in downtown Burlington that could delay future development in the area even further if it is not lifted. The industrial sector in Hamilton has picked back up and the economy is expected to be impacted positively in the coming year. Move-over buyers from the GTA who are looking for more space are driving the market.
Increased GO Train service and higher levels of affordability in the region compared to the GTA are the most influential factors that will impact the Hamilton-Burlington housing market in 2020. Move-over buyers are expected to drive demand in 2020, in particular, moving from the GTA in search of more affordable properties.
The hottest neighbourhoods in Hamilton for 2020 include Leckie Park, Waterdown West and Fifty Point. In Burlington, in-demand neighbourhoods include Brant Hills, Central and The Orchard.
From a national perspective, RE/MAX anticipates a leveling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected, with an estimated 3.7-per-cent increase in the average national residential sales price, according to the RE/MAX 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report.
Most individual markets surveyed across Canada experienced moderate price increases year-over-year from 2018 to 2019. However, some regions in Ontario continue to experience higher-than-normal gains, including London (+10.7 per cent), Windsor (+11 per cent), Ottawa (+11.7 per cent) and Niagara (+12.9 per cent).
“Southern Ontario is witnessing some incredibly strong price appreciation, with many regions seeing double-digit gains,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Thanks to the region’s resilient economy, staggering population growth and relentless development, the 2020 market looks very optimistic.”
Lydia McNutt is an award-winning journalist and editor, with almost two decades of experience in the real estate sector. At RE/MAX, Lydia is responsible for developing consumer-facing content while promoting the RE/MAX brand. This includes housing market reports and RE/MAX network news featured on the RE/MAX Canada blog and social media channels. Lydia has been published nationally on topics ranging from real estate, architecture, decor and design, to finance, business, technology, entertainment and lifestyle. When she’s not head-down at her writing desk, Lydia is busy “momming” in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, two kids and their chocolate lab, Betty. Email Lydia at firstname.lastname@example.org