The housing market in Hamilton was definitely a sellers' market in 2013 — and 2014 likely won't be any different, according to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.
"We were expecting an average price increase of 2.5 per cent last year and we ended up with a 6.7 per cent increase," explained Tim Mattioli, president of the RAHB. "The listings stayed on the low side so it was definitely a sellers' market."
Part of the boom comes from an overflow of disgruntled home buyers down the QEW who are fed up with Toronto's pricey market, Mattioli said.
"You come to Hamilton and you can get a single family home for the price of a condo in downtown Toronto and you get a nice car to go with it," he said. "Burlington's prices are higher than Hamilton but it's still less than Toronto."
With improved transit throughout the GTHA, Mattioli said Hamilton houses are looking even more appealing to some who work in Toronto.
"You can get to downtown Toronto from Hamilton a lot faster than you can from some other parts of downtown Toronto."
Hamilton has its own draw as well. More affordable properties are attracting more employers, Mattioli said, who then attract new employees to move to the city.
Mattioli said the average housing price is expected to increase about 3.5 per cent in 2014, but urges buyers not to shy away, because the prices will likely continue to rise.
"Realistically, it's not a good idea to wait," he said. "It's a little harder to get into the market but at the same time it's improving the market for everyone."