Hot Thunder Bay housing market frustrates buyers

Analysts say many housing markets are cooling across the country, but that's not the case in Thunder Bay.

Real estate prices in Thunder Bay continue to rise due to a limited supply of homes on the market

A Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation analyst says Thunder Bay is still in a seller's market, but there are early signs that could slow down. (Richard Buchan/Canadian Press )

Analysts say many housing markets are cooling across the country, but that's not the case in Thunder Bay.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports, on average, housing prices in Thunder Bay have risen about eight per cent in the past year.

For Thunder Bay resident Amanda Rozenuk — who is looking for her first home — the sellers’ market can make the process stressful.

“Getting your hopes up, and then kinda being disappointed and stretching your bank account farther than you ever thought you would have to,” she said.

“It's stressful [and] interesting. I'm learning a lot, but … I'm ready to just buy a house.”

Rozenuk and her boyfriend have been hunting for their first home for about three months.

They want to live on Thunder Bay's north side.

She said it's common to see houses sell above the list price, and the competition for homes is stiff.

“If I go to an open house, there's at least 20 to 40 people in it at a time,” she said.

“It's crazy. And then, for example, when we bid on a house, I think there was probably eight other offers in.”

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Warren Philp said a limited supply of available homes on the local market continues to push prices up.

“We don't see cooling where you'd be into a buyer's situation,” he said.

“We're a long way from that.”

He noted there are “some early indications that suggest that the market should cool somewhat.”

Philp said Thunder Bay could move into a more balanced market situation, “where prices would still be rising, but at a more modest level."

In the meantime, Rozenuk and her boyfriend continue to rent, while using the services of a real estate agent and scouring advertisements on Kijiji and Thunder Bay Houses.

"I'm basically taking all measures that I know about.”


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