Hamilton's real estate market set 'to come out of the gates strong in January'
‘The real estate industry has been one of the economic drivers through the pandemic,’ broker Joe Ferrante says
Hamilton home prices have been trending upward, registering a near 10 per cent increase in despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and a broker with Royal LePage says this is expected to continue in 2021.
According to a Royal LePage House Price Survey released in July, the aggregate price of a home in Hamilton increased 9.1 per cent to $592,059 in the second quarter of 2020.
Joe Ferrante says prices have continued to rise.
"I think the trend is still going to be positive. I think it's still going to move upwards. I think values are going to increase, probably moderately. I'm kinda using the five per cent mark in terms of the average overall across the entire city of Hamilton, including the suburbs and everything else," Ferrante told CBC Hamilton.
"I think things will continue to look up. I think the interest rates are a huge factor, and unfortunately, there's just not enough product. There's a shortage of product still and it's tough for especially first-time home buyers to get into the market because stuff is selling well above asking, and we're still seeing competition on listings.
"I don't think that's going to end anytime soon. I don't think that it's going to end as we head into January or February," Ferrante said.
There was the usual "seasonal slowdown" as it got closer to the end of 2020, Ferrante said.
"You normally would [see a slow down] this time of the year as we head into Christmas, but I think we're going to come out of the gates strong in January."
While real estate in the city is usually covered by agents from the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, Ferrante said there are a lot of agents coming from other boards, such as Oakville and Toronto.
This trend, Ferrante said, began earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. "They are listing properties here, they are selling properties here, so they are dealing with a great big amount of buyers and it seems that that trend is still continuing," he said.
"They're just pushing this way. Once again, it boils down to affordability and availability, not just for Hamilton but pushing right into the Niagara region, into Cambridge and those areas as well."
Vaccine is big news for consumer confidence
A number of pandemic-related factors have heated up demand for Hamilton homes.
Offices banished employees to their kitchen tables in March, meaning more people from beyond city limits aren't worried about lengthy commutes, at least for now. People who'd sacrificed square footage to live closer to their jobs suddenly craved more space for kids doing schoolwork and playing, and for parents working. Travel restrictions swapped daydreams of vacations for backyard pools.
On Dec. 9, Health Canada gave the green light to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, a key step toward launching the biggest inoculation program in the country's history.
The department announced the approval after scientists finished a two-month review of the company's clinical trial data.
Ferrante said this news will play a big role in continuing the positive trend in the real estate market.
"The news of the vaccine is ... big for consumer confidence," he said.
"The interest rates are low. Again, it's all about consumer confidence, in my opinion. I think people can start to see light at the end of the tunnel.
"The real estate industry has been one of the economic drivers through this pandemic and I don't see that slowing down or changing into the new year."
With files from Kelly Bennett