The state of the Oshawa economy has been under pressure for the last couple of years, particularly its automobile sector. These conditions were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought an abrupt pause to the regional economy. With the province continuing its reopening and the public health crisis abating, Oshawa has entered its recovery phase. The mayor has launched the Economy Recovery Task Force, and now everyone is getting ready to do their part to resuscitate the city. Can it be done? Yes, and there’s proof in the rebounding real estate market.

As people increasingly become wary of hyper-dense cities and the rising cost of living, cities like Oshawa are becoming more appealing, boasting the benefits of a large city and a small town combined. With more companies adopting work-from-home practices and greater access to public transit, many young professionals and families are discovering that living in a big city is no longer a necessity.

According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s Market Year in Review & Outlook Report 2020, young buyers – millennials and Generation Xers – in Ontario are heading to Oshawa and Hamilton. But why? The 2020 RE/MAX Housing Affordability Report found that the percentage of monthly income required to buy a home in Oshawa is approximately half of what it is in Toronto. That may be enough of an incentive on its own. Further, when you factor in future employment growth trends in the areas of health care, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, Oshawa is on track to be an important economic engine in Ontario.

GTA Housing Market: Oshawa Real Estate Snapshot

The Oshawa housing market experienced a commendable surge in the months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic. From November to the beginning of March, the average sold price for all properties – detached, townhouse, and condo – spiked more than 12 per cent. It was not too surprising that housing prices experienced a slight correction when the public health crisis forced the province to impose strict lockdown measures. Now that Ontario is starting to reopen, the latest numbers are pointing to a steep rebound.

In June, Oshawa housing prices advanced. The average price for homes in Durham Region reached $685,655 – a 10-per-cent increase year-over-year, and up five per cent month-over-month.

According to the Durham Region Association of Realtors, transactions in June were up 66 per cent month-over-month, with 1,281 changing hands. New listings were also up 63 per cent, to 1,857.

Oshawa real estate prices have been on a gradual incline over the last decade, the housing market remains affordable for cost-conscious consumers. When assessing many of the factors involved in valuing Oshawa’s detached, semi-detached and condominiums, it is accurately and fairly valued.

Does this mean homebuyers have missed out on an opportunity? Not quite. Despite the slow but steady growth in housing prices amid lower inventories, Oshawa continues to rank in the top 10 of Canada’s most affordable cities, beating out Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Victoria. Although Oshawa has never seen higher real estate prices, they are still lower than local markets across Toronto and the GTA.

Inevitably, Oshawa should expand in the coming years to satisfy the growing population in the region. Housing starts in Oshawa have been depressed for a long time, cratering to a four-decade low in April 2019. But recent trends suggest that new home starts are beginning to rise, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), amid historically low interest rates and easier access to credit for developers. Since 75 per cent of Canada’s housing markets are undervalued, Oshawa could be an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and realize your home-ownership dreams.

Oshawa: The Next Big Thing in Ontario Real Estate?

What makes Oshawa attractive is that it offers a wide variety of amenities and things to do, which is turning the city into an appealing destination for young families and retired seniors.

Another key factor contributing to Oshawa’s rising popularity is its proximity to Toronto. In recent years, the province has been investing in GO service, increasing the frequency of trains. While commuting by car can still require some time (and patience) as you crawl along the 401, public transit investment could alleviate some of the congestion seen on the major highway to and from Toronto.

Is a housing boom set to ignite the Oshawa real estate market? Perhaps. Whether you are looking to buy a property or invest in Oshawa real estate, it is worth your while to keep a keen eye on the trends unfolding in this growing, dynamic city 40 minutes east of Toronto.