The Kingston housing market is one of the hottest in Ontario and the rest of the country. The small municipality about two hours outside the city of Toronto has shown impressive performance over the last couple of years. In line with the trend, many smaller housing markets have turned their fortunes around on a Canadian dime and recorded notable gains.
Wait a minute. Is Kingston really that sizzling right now? In a simple word: Yes.
But how good is it? Let’s explore some of the latest numbers that help showcase this regional market’s strength.
What You Need to Know About the Kingston Housing Market
According to the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association, residential property sales tumbled 11.3 per cent year-over-year in February, totalling 267 units. In the first two months of 2022, home sales have dropped a little more than 11 per cent from the same time last year, with 451 units changing hands.
On a historical basis, home sales remained 11.6 per cent above the five-year average for the month of February. Sales were 23.2 per cent above the decade average for this time of the year.
But while sales activity cooled down, price growth sizzled in the early part of 2022.
The real estate association’s data found that the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which is considered to be a more accurate measure than average or median price, soared at an annualized pace of 30.9 per cent to $622,200. The average price of a Kingston home for sale in February advanced 26.1 per cent to, $722.957.
Indeed, all residential property categories recorded growth in the benchmark price in February:
- Single-Family: +30.9% to $626,800
- Townhouse / Row Unit: +36.5% to $493,700
- Apartment: +26.1% to $405,700
But how does this compare to the rest of the province?
The Ontario real estate market recorded an 11.1-per-cent decline in unit sales in February, with about 19,300 units being sold. Meanwhile, the average price of resale homes surged 25.8 per cent to $1,086,493, according to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).
Overall, Kingston is having an incredible start to 2022.
“Sales activity came in at the second-highest level for the month of February in history. This is impressive, given that new listings still remain at below-average levels for this time of year,” said Mark Malinoff, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association, in a news release.
“Of course, with demand rising and new supply falling, we continued to see a steady decline in overall inventories available on the market. A diminishing pool of listings and eager potential buyers meant that year-over-year benchmark price gains were back up to the 30-per-cent range in February with price levels at a new record high.”
Supply has been the driving factor for the Kingston housing market as inventories have yet to return to average levels.
The number of new residential listings fell 24.5 per cent, totalling just 314 units. This was the lowest figure for the month of February in 15 years. Active residential listings also declined 31.6 per cent to 193 units, a more than three-decade low.
On a historical level, new listings were 15.5 per cent below the five-year average, while active listings were 63.3 per cent below the five-year average.
Moreover, months of inventory slipped to 0.7 at the end of February, down from 0.9 in February 2021. The long-run average is also 5.2 months. This is a crucial gauge since it represents the number of months it would take to exhaust current housing stocks at the current rate of sales activity.
And new housing construction activity has been subdued so far this year. In the first two months of 2022, housing starts have totalled just 25 units, down from 138 a year ago, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Is Kingston Canada’s Hottest Housing Market?
For a population of approximately 136,000, Kington might be Canada’s hottest housing market.
RE/MAX Canada’s 2022 Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report highlights that Kingston experienced price growth of +23 per cent from 2020 to 2021.
What is supporting this red-hot market? Buyers who live outside the region, many of them coming from Toronto. With North America’s fourth-largest city becoming too expensive for many young families and professionals (despite exceptional incomes!), many of these households are reconsidering where they live.
Over the last couple of years, many have chosen to leave major urban centres in favour of smaller towns in the province of Ontario and other regions across the country.
And who would not love Kingston anyway? The terrific waterfront scenery, a two-hour distance to Toronto, and remarkable homes on the open market are just some of the reasons why Kingston has become the go-to destination for prospective homeowners across the province.