Influenced by the GTA real estate market as a whole, Halton has been under the spotlight for the past few years as the dynamics following the 2016/2017 boom have led to higher demand in suburban parts and the surrounding areas of Toronto.
Entering a new decade now, let’s take a look back as well as a look ahead at the housing market, in Oakville, Burlington and the rest of the GTA. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the local real estate boards have delivered their forecasts, so here is what we can expect in the upcoming year.
Home sales will increase in 2020
The number of home sales in the GTA had reached its peak in 2016/2017, but after a number of measures and certain amendments to the Housing Act being made in 2018, they significantly declined. The year 2018 was marked by frequent interest rate increases and a stricter mortgage stress test that required mortgage applicants to qualify at a 2% higher rate than the contracted one. This led the market to slow down as it took a while for homebuyers to adjust to the changes. The home sales had fallen to a ten-year low in 2018, but in 2019, we saw a slight increase in transactions changing hands again. Home sales started to gain more momentum in the second half of 2019 following the Bank of Canada’s decision to lower the qualifying rate for mortgage stress tests from 5.34% to 5.19%. This was the first mortgage decrease for fixed mortgage rates since 2016. The lowered qualifying rate will continue to encourage homebuyers to get back on the market in 2020, with forecasts stating that home sales will increase up to over 6% compared to 2018, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
A seller’s market will prevail in 2020
The GTA’s ongoing gap between supply and demand could again become an issue with the growing number of homebuyers. Such conditions will probably lead to a dominant seller’s market, and subsequently, a significant price growth. The national average price growth is estimated to increase by 3.7%.
Home prices will grow in Burlington and Oakville
Spurred by higher demand, a price increase by 3.8% is also expected in Burlington, given that GTA homebuyers, especially mover-uppers, will continue to look for more affordable housing options near the big GTA cities. Neighbourhoods like Brant Hill, The Orchard and Central are expected to be particularly high in demand.
In Oakville, the average sales price is expected to increase by 5% due to a significant supply and demand gap with far more homebuyers than available listings. Oakville will keep being a top choice for mover-uppers from across the GTA just like Burlington, but there is no particular neighbourhood standing out as all Oakville neighbourhoods will be more or less equally sought-after.