Home values in Newmarket have soared despite the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the biggest increase for single family detached houses in the province, according to an annual nationwide report released by CENTURY 21 Canada.
Single detached home values have gone up by 37.29 per cent in Newmarket this year, says the study that compares the price per square foot (psf) of properties sold by its franchises from Jan. 1 and June 30 this year, compared to the same period last year.
Home prices in Newmarket average $510 per square foot, compared to $522 in Richmond Hill and $548 in Vaughan.
The Greater Toronto Area showed the strongest increases in values in Ontario.
“With a work from home option more realistic for some people, they’re finding they can get a larger home if they move a bit further from Toronto,” Brian Rushton, executive vice-president of CENTURY 21 Canada, said. “Even if their commute is a little longer, they’re travelling to an office less often, which makes it more tolerable.”
Toronto’s downtown area condos saw an 8.9 per cent increase to $1,083 psf, making them the second most expensive nationwide after Vancouver.
House prices across Canada are maintaining their strength, while the number of sales is coming back after a decline earlier in the spring due to the pandemic, according to the report.
While the local stories vary across the country, the common theme is of house prices seeing modest changes per square foot over the same period last year. One exception is Montreal, which has seen prices increase dramatically since 2019 – though downtown prices still remain lower than those in Vancouver and Toronto.
“When the pandemic took hold in Canada in mid-March, there was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen to real estate sales during the typically busy spring market,” Rushton said in a news release.
"What we have seen is that after a dip in the number of sales early in the pandemic, the pace of sales has returned to near-normal levels as real estate agents and companies innovated new ways of doing things. The real estate industry has proved resilient through the past several months. And even further, prices have held steady, as well.”
COVID-19 has prompted innovations in how real estate operates, with the adoption of technologies allowing more physical distancing and reducing contact, including virtual tours so that sellers do not have strangers or large numbers of people in their homes.
“As we are in our fourth year of gathering this data, we continue to see that real estate is not a national picture, it’s really what’s happening in your local community,” Rushton said. “No matter where in Canada you live buying a home is a great investment, especially if you’re making a long-term purchase.”
By looking at the price per square foot at the same time each year the firm is able to get a good idea of how prices have changed over time for similar properties. This year’s survey compares 2019 prices with this year’s results, while also providing available 2017 and 2018 data.
You can see the study results here.