Across the country in 2016 the regional markets close to the highest priced cities have experienced the largest gains. Buyers and move-up buyers are looking to find a balance between affordability and square footage. The communities reaping the benefits include Kelowna, Fraser Valley, Barrie and at the top of that list is Hamilton-Burlington with a whopping increase of 19.8 per cent. According to the Re/Max Annual Housing Market Outlook Report, real estate values across the Hamilton-Burlington area are expected to see another double digit rise in value with a prediction of 11 per cent which would put the area at the top of the list again for 2017.
First time buyers in Hamilton have been looking at buying older detached homes in the $300,000 price range whereas in Burlington they are more likely to pursue townhome and apartment condos in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range. Ongoing transportation updates including increased GO service and the upcoming LRT project are allowing more buyers to move to this area and still commute to the larger cities for work.
The condo market is expected to see strong gains this year with young professionals and retirees driving the demand in both the new and re-sale markets.
The luxury market saw significant growth over 2016. Sales were up from 63 in 2015 to 146 sales over $1 million in 2016. With the demand and price appreciation expected to continue across the upper end segment of the market the demand for luxury homes is expected to remain strong throughout 2017.
There is a decline in sales activity predicted for this year which is mostly attributed to the lack of product. The total listing inventory for the Hamilton-Burlington area is down close to 30 per cent over last year.
This lack of supply means that sellers will be sitting pretty in a very heated sellers’ market. Meanwhile,for buyers, they will be dealing with tighter mortgage rule regulations.
“If you are looking to purchase a home in 2017 the best advice is to have all of your ducks in a row” says Jayne Woolcott. “Make sure you and your banker/mortgage broker have you approved for your purchase price. Some institutions are now providing firm approvals which allows the buyer confidence they won’t require a financing condition in their offer.”