“One of the things that’s happening is that it’s a sellers’ market these days, especially for detached homes in Toronto,” Barisa says. “That has an impact in the number of people looking for condos, and not just starter condos. If someone can afford a million dollar house, they can get a very nice condo that’s closer to downtown.”
Despite these differences, the survey found that more Ontarians are looking favourably upon the housing market.
“A majority of Ontarians – 57 per cent, according to the study – feel the market is favourable, compared to only 20 per cent who say it’s not,” Ed Barisa, the CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, tells REP. “This is important because consumer reflections reflect what is currently happening and signal the next wave of things to come. These insights often offer a glimpse ahead.”
This healthy outlook is already impacting the market, with Canadian unit sales rising 8.8 per cent over the year-ago period for the month of May. Average sales prices also rose 7.9 per cent year-over-year to $585, 201 in May.
“A healthy economy will boost consumer confidence that, in turn, benefits the economy as consumers feel better about spending as well as saving,” Barisa says. “These are based on low interest rates, the feelings of Ontarians that their jobs are secure and an overall feeling of well-being in the province.”
Still, no matter what the budget or style of house that buyers are searching for, Barisa says it’s important to work with a qualified real estate agent.
“Real estate is a very local business, so buyers need to contact a Realtor who specialises in their particular interest,” he says, “whether that’s a condo in Toronto, a waterfront property in Waterloo or a cottage in cottage country.”
A new survey by the Ontario Real Estate Association revealed regional disparities across the province; some 41 per cent of prospective homebuyers in Toronto said they were looking to purchase a condo, but in the rest of the province, more people are eyeing detached homes.