According to a study from Re/Max, Durham’s housing market has been hotter than ever. That’s because house prices have consistently been rising in its municipalities, year-over-year.

Or is it just the “Durham Advantage”?

While says Durham cities like Bowmanville, O’Neill, and Lakeview offer the best value for first-time home buyers, other more popular areas such as Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, and Lake Simcoe can be less affordable.

Durham Region is east of Toronto, in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. It is comprised of eight main municipalities (Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge and Whitby).

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For 2020, Re/Max predicts a 3 per cent increase in line with the price surges in the 2019 market.

"The average residential sale price expectation for Durham Region in 2020 is an increase of three per cent, due to a healthy and steady market. Sales prices will continue to increase at a reasonable rate as long as inventory continues to be available in 2020," it noted in a press release.

Even the General Motors strike likely won’t affect its burgeoning real estate market.

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"It is anticipated that affordability will deteriorate further in 2020 as the population continues to grow and more buyers move east to Durham from Toronto," the release stated. "The mortgage stress test prompted more Toronto buyers into the Durham region, which helped level out the loss of first-time buyers who were unable to enter the market in Durham in 2019. First-time homebuyers are expected to be the main market driver in 2020. Communities in high demand will be Bowmanville and Newcastle."

Year-over-year increases in sales have indicated a huge growth trend, said the Durham Region Association of Realtors. November, 2019, for example, had 872 residential transactions in November -  a 19.5 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

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“The housing market in Durham Region has seen significant year-over-year sales growth in 2019. The number of new listings in Durham for the month of November was down in comparison to the same time last year and this trend is anticipated as we enter the winter market,” said Vicki Sweeney, president of the Durham Region Association of Realtors.

“It is encouraging to see the days on market decrease from 27 days in November 2018 to 23 days this past month.”

House sales also rose, with the average house inching to $611,871 from  $590,403 in November of last year.

“Durham Region continues to remain an ideal location for home buyers looking for a variety of housing options and communities. As we see the continued sales growth in Durham, it is important to note the supply needs to meet the demand,” Sweeney added.

Given Metrolinx expansion plans, you can count on Durham’s housing market to continue to grow as well.

Personal Finance