Homebuyers in search of affordable Ontario real estate and a fantastic location need not look any further than the Kingston housing market. For those interested in outdoor activities, Lake Ontario provides breathtaking views, along with water sports for families and individuals to enjoy. Countless hiking trails offer hours of enjoyment for those seeking to connect with nature.

Kingston combines nature and city-life, with historical landmarks such as Fort Henry National Historic Site, Kingston City Hall, and the Cathedral of Saint Mary. Stop for lunch with the family at Wolfe Island Bakery & Café, or indulge at Olivia, one of Kingston’s best Italian restaurants.

Opportunities for Home Ownership in Kingston

Economic hardships and lost jobs have challenged many over the course of the public health crisis. The Kingston housing market remains a hidden gem for those seeking affordability in the pricey Ontario real estate market, with the Ontario and Canadian governments investing in affordable housing projects throughout the city. A total of $625,000 has been allocated for an apartment building on Wright Crescent, with 40 units and accommodating a wide array of income levels. The apartment building is expected to be completed by fall 2021, providing much needed affordable housing options to those in need.

Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said in a media release from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): “Home is a place of safety and refuge. Our government is dedicated to housing more Canadians which is why we are proud to have invested in this development in Kingston. These new units are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are key to a better life for the residents who call them home.”

But what about the broader Kingston real estate market? Just how affordable is housing here, and will prices remain attainable in the long term?

Increasing Sales in the Kingston Real Estate Market

Sales have continued to soar in the Kingston real estate market, with a total of 206 units sold in January 2021, 14.4% higher when compared to the same month last year.

According to Mat Clancy, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association (KAREA), “Home sales continued at their breakneck pace in January, coming in just five sales shy of tying the record for the month set back in 2007 and keeping the momentum going from last year. With market conditions the tightest they’ve ever been amid record low (and still falling) supply levels we’re seeing the same trends play out as many other centres in Ontario.”

As of January 2021, the combined value of all MLS home sales was $107.7 million. Compared to January 2020, the increase was an astonishing 46.4%. This record-breaking number has caused all-time highs for the month of January, as it’s never seen sales in excess of $100 million.

An increase in demand has led to a decrease in available homes, with only 254 new homes coming to the market in January 2021. Compared to January 2020, this is a decrease of 35.9%. When looking at market trends for January from the past three decades, January 2021 has shown the lowest amount of new listings.

At the end of January 2021, there were only 270 residential listings available for sale, 57.3% less than January 2020, another trend that hasn’t been seen in January in more than three decades.

In terms of prices, these too are rising in Kingston, with the average prices of homes sold in January 2021 breaking records at $522,978; a jaw-dropping increase of 27.9% from the same month last year. While this average price remains considerably more affordable when compared to other urban and suburban markets closer to the Ottawa and Toronto core, if prices continue on this trajectory, Kingston won’t retain its title as the hidden gem of affordable real estate for much longer!

Another trend in Kingston is the rising demand for condominiums, increasing throughout 2021. While condos haven’t always been a major factor in the housing market, the need is shifting, especially as investors purchase units to use as rentals for Queen’s University students.

What Does 2021 Have in Store for the Kingston Housing Market?

According to the RE/MAX 2021 Kingston Housing Market Outlook, rising demand for resale and new-construction is expected to keep homebuyers on their toes. In 2021, the race for new construction will likely continue, providing housing at all price points to those seeking home ownership. Single-detached homes will continue to be the most sought-after properties, but condominiums and townhomes are still going to be on the rise.

The increase in demand has left Kingston homebuyers purchasing properties that may not have previously been on their radar. Concessions are being made and minor flaws in homes are being overlooked in order to procure property.

As more and more Canadians relocate, the housing market will continue to soar throughout 2021. Those in search of first-time home ownership as well as those looking for bigger homes to accommodate their growing needs will continue to drive the real estate market on a local and national level.