After flaunting impressive numbers in the aftermath of the of the coronavirus pandemic, it is safe to say that the GTA real estate market is rebounding, perhaps even better than what industry observers anticipated. It is not only the city of Toronto experiencing renewed sales activity and higher home valuations. From Durham to York regions, the housing market is rising after a temporary slump at the height of the virus outbreak. Does this translate to real estate investing opportunities in the GTA?
Because of the red-hot housing market in North America’s fourth-largest city, a lot of first-time real estate investors think they are priced out from the very beginning. This belief makes sense, considering the enormous amount of upfront capital required to put into your first property. Contrary to popular belief, investing in GTA real estate does not only need to be concentrated in Toronto. There are many housing markets across the GTA that can pad your bottom line.
Consider this: a RE/MAX report from earlier this year revealed that 75 per cent of Canada’s housing markets are undervalued. In Ontario alone, several markets are undervalued, affordable and present opportunities for entrepreneurs. Within the GTA, where are these opportunities? Below, we explore four municipalities in the Durham Region for hopeful real estate investors within the Greater Toronto Area.
Investing in GTA Real Estate? Look at These Housing Markets
In August, average housing prices across Durham Region advanced 3.5 per cent month-over-month and 19.5 per cent year-over-year to $734,136, according to the Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR). Transactions were also up 45 per cent year-over-year, with nearly 1,515 homes sold. New listings also rose 19 per cent to 1,839.
The local Oshawa economy has endured through tough times over the last decade, mostly stemming from downturns impacting the automobile industry. The level of uncertainty in a sector so crucial to the local Oshawa economy is creating concern across the municipality. Despite this uncertainty, home prices within the city have not faltered, and real estate activity remains strong. According to DRAR, average home price in Oshawa was $613,000 in August, up from $607,000 in July and $517,000 last year. Despite this consistent climb, the Oshawa real estate market still presents commendable affordability for homebuyers and investors. With inventory levels sliding and demand growing, it might be a case of trying to get in before it is too late.
Whitby usually makes the list of one of Canada’s best places to live. Located just east of Toronto, Whitby mingles the small-town vibe with big-city amenities. According to DRAR’s latest figures, Whitby houses sold for an average of $798,000 in August, up from $750,000 in July and $688,000 in August 2019. What is impressive is that the median number of days a house stayed on the market was a mere 13 days. Active listings hit 178, while transactions reached 250, indicating a flourishing market.
With a lot of urban dwellers looking to flee the large city, there is booming demand in Whitby. This trend is a positive long-term one for the town of Whitby.
The Ajax real estate market has rebounded significantly since the province started to reopen the rest of Ontario. Not only have prices gone up to an average of $771,000 in August, but properties are also being scooped up within 11 days. The demand is increasing in Ajax, but there is a gaping problem: supply has flatlined. For real estate investors looking to build or flip a home, Ajax is a prime location, as the market is in desperate need of inventory to alleviate some of this demand-generated pressure.
Pickering is another GTA location that is seeing its inventories trend sideways while the number of sales steadily increase. The average sale price of a home in Pickering was about $838,000 in August, up from $686,000 year-over-year. Because Pickering is a desirable community in close proximity to Toronto, many families are looking to plant roots there, but this demand can’t be satisfied without new development. With a credit injection into the economy, developers will likely invest in building new properties.
Depending on your personal financial circumstances, this could be a great time to invest in GTA real estate than right now. The primary factor for real estate investing is credit, and money is cheap right now. The Bank of Canada slashed interest rates to 0.25 per cent in March and the central bank has indicated that it intends to maintain a near-zero rate to support the economic recovery. This makes borrowing less expensive and allows entrepreneurs to go all-in on their investment. The federal government and the big banks have highlighted their willingness to support the housing market, which bodes well for hopeful investors.
Overall, there are many factors that make investing in the GTA housing market an appealing, profitable opportunity….you just need to know where to look.