The ‘Toronto effect’ hits agents

by Jordan Maxwell15 Jun 2015
The Toronto “effect” is having a huge impact on sales in Guelph as the small city experiences a real estate record in a single month with a 17 per cent increase from May 2014, says one industry vet.

“It’s been a record month for sure and the listings aren’t lasting,” said Patrick Ireland, a sales representative from Coldwell Banker.

“There have been biddings wars where we see people who have overbid by up to 25 per cent on a home. Conversely, if you have priced your house sharply, it’ll sit. Condo sales have also been strong for millennials and students at the local university.”

His comments come as 422 units were sold in the city last month, upping the average price from $375,000 to $387,956, which is a 4.6 per cent increase since May 2014.

While it’s a far cry from what has been seen in Toronto, Guelph, like Kitchener and Waterloo, is experiencing an influx of buyers coming from the GTA as they look to capitalize on home prices.

With a growing local economy and a strong job market, many agents are reaping the rewards from strong spring sales in what has become a buyer’s market with more listings popping up.

“Guelph has always been a bedroom community to Toronto and transit projects in the works have really brought interest to the area,” said Jeff Morley, president of the Guelph and District Association of Realtors.

New legislation is also impacting the amount of growth being witnessed in Guelph. Recently, Ontario’s tabled Places to Grow legislation, which has re-focused the city’s effort to providing higher density development to draw more people to detached housing while creating a strong urban core.

New developments have created bidding wars, music to the ears of agents in the Royal City.

“There’s been strong growth in the urban core and with the second lowest rate of unemployment in Canada,” said Ireland. “Things are looking strong and I don’t see things changing any time soon.”

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