North Bay housing market to favour sellers in 2021, prices expected to rise 4-6%

The North Bay housing market is expected to sit in strong seller’s market territory in 2021 due to a lack of housing inventory prompted by an influx of buyers from the south. Inventory challenges have been a common trend across many Ontario housing markets, putting upward pressure on prices in 2020. Indeed, the average selling price of detached homes in North Bay increased to $291,000 in 2020 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31), up from $259,000 in 2019 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). Meanwhile, the average price of condominiums in the region reached $180,000 in 2020 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) down from $200,000 in 2019 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). With housing supply expected to be a continuing challenge next year, the RE/MAX outlook for North Bay residential real estate in 2021 is an increase in average price of 4 to 6% across all property types, to $305,550.

North Bay currently has 1.2 months of inventory. Days on market in 2021 are difficult to predict, as the market is currently being driven by pandemic-related activity.

North Bay housing market outlook 2021

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Who’s driving the North Bay housing market?

The pandemic has had a huge impact on North Bay’s housing market. Move-over buyers from Southern Ontario have been migrating north, seeking more space and affordability in the wake of COVID-19. These buyers have been adding a great deal of competition to the market, which is putting upward pressure on housing supply and prices.

North Bay’s affordability has historically been great relative to its southern counterparts, however due to an influx of buyers from the south, North Bay prices have risen while supply has fallen. In light of this, local homebuyers will have to adjust their expectations in order to compete and win against out-of-town buyers.

North Bay’s condominium market is being driven by retirees and downsizers, with the greatest demand for two-bedroom units or larger. However, the region saw very few condo sales in 2020, indicating that buyers in this market want more space.

North Bay’s luxury market had a strong year, with activity driven predominantly by move-over buyers from urban areas, and waterfront properties in high demand.

North Bay’s hottest neighbourhoods

North Bay’s top-selling neighbourhoods in 2020 were Ferris, Airport and Callander, based on the number of transactions. A slight shift is expected in 2021, with walkability liveability and schools putting Pinewood, Airport and Callander in highest demand.

North Bay new-home construction

As has been the case with North Bay’s resale market, new construction is also falling short of demand. Housing starts are too low, and prices are higher than resale due to demand and compounded by the rising price of construction materials. Looking ahead, North Bay lacks the resale inventory and new-home starts required to keep up with the current demand from move-over buyers, should this pace continue.

Canadian housing market in 2021

Canadians are on the move. RE/MAX isn’t calling this an “exodus,” but the re-location trend across the Canadian housing market is real, and it’s just one focus of the RE/MAX 2021 Housing Market Outlook Report. RE/MAX Canada anticipates healthy housing price growth at the national level, with move-up and move-over buyers continuing to drive activity in many regions across the Canadian housing market. An ongoing and widespread housing supply shortage is likely to continue, presenting challenges for homebuyers and putting upward pressure on prices.

Due to these factors, the 2021 RE/MAX 2021 outlook for average residential prices is an estimate of +4% to +6% nation-wide. Here’s the regional break-down:

Canadian Housing Market Outlook REMAX 2021 Data Table

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Additional report findings include:

  • 35% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that “move-over” buyers from other cities and provinces will continue to spark market activity in 2021
  • 45% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that move-up buyers will likely be a primary driver of the housing market demand in 2021
  • Half of Canadians (53%) are confident that Canada’s housing markets will remain steady in 2021
  • 52% of Canadians believe real estate will remain one of the best investment options in 2021

“We’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence since the summer that households are considering significant lifestyle changes by relocating to less-dense cities and neighbourhoods,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “This has sparked unprecedented sales this year in suburban and rural parts of Canada and we expect this trend to continue in 2021.”

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Seller’s market expected in 2020, prices to rise 3%

The North Bay housing market is currently in seller’s territory, and these conditions are expected to continue in 2020 as well. The RE/MAX average residential sale price expectation for North Bay in 2020 is a three-per-cent increase, due to decreasing inventory and buyers moving in from larger markets, driving prices up.

North Bay is experiencing a shortage of inventory, currently standing at two months. Affordability continues to be a concern for North Bay homebuyers, due to federal regulations and the stress test having a continued impact for some buyers including first-timers and move-up buyers.

The growing investment and recreational markets are expected to have an impact on the market in 2020, along with a rising trend of retirees purchasing waterfront properties in the region.

The need for improved walkability and the recent approval of secondary units are expected to have the biggest impact on the housing market in 2020. Move-up buyers are expected to drive demand in 2020, especially as investment and recreational properties continue to grow in popularity.

The hottest North Bay neighbourhoods in 2020 will be Central, Ferris and Widdifield.

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.”