With most of Ontario now in Stage 3, the initial effects of the pandemic have started to subside. Residents are back to work, the economy is restarting, and, in turn, the housing market is starting to pick up again, following months of temporary setbacks due to COVID-19.
This includes the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which is now starting to thrive – particularly in Markham, which is gaining momentum at a surprising rate.
Conveniently located just 30 minutes North of Toronto, Markham prides itself on its ethnically diverse community and unique neighbourhoods, which offer affordable options for those looking for more space outside of Canada’s largest city.
In June, the average price was $1,086,502, up from $1,083,884 in May and home prices have surged 22.5% year-over-year, according to the latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
According to RE/MAX, one of the key drivers of the rising prices has been the shrinking housing inventory that has spanned since August of last year. But, this has since started to reverse, with supply now beginning to grow. In June, there were 790 new listings and more than 400 homes sold. While at the onset of the virus outbreak, sales plummeted 50% year-over-year, they have since recuperated, rebounding 35% in June.
What’s more, rentals are now heading in the opposite direction, with average rents in Markham falling at an annualized rate of 7.5% to $2,167. However, RE/MAX says that experts are forecasting that this will change in the coming months as the province continues to reopen and more people return to the workforce.
Overall, RE/MAX says the biggest threat to Markham’s active housing market might be rising unemployment, as the jobless rate currently sits at 8%, though this shouldn’t be too worrisome as the economy is beginning to recover as economies start to do business again.
Though, despite that numbers continue to show that more home buyers are looking outside of Toronto and are turning to the 905 regions to find more affordability and space, the number of housing starts in Markham has failed to keep up with the growing population. RE/MAX says this is why housing prices are accelerating, faster than the rate of recovery across other municipal markets.
Like its regional neighbours, Markham will also greatly benefit from historically low-interest rates that will make borrowing cheaper and, in turn, homebuyers will be able to save some money in the environment.
And, as more buyers and sellers retreat from the sidelines and return to the market, Markham is primed to continue on this upward trajectory over the next few months.