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Hamilton housing still hot despite overall decrease in growth

It’s a familiar story to real estate watchers in Hamilton: housing prices here continue to rise at a healthy rate.

RE/MAX report predicts housing prices in Hamilton-Burlington will increase by 2.7 per cent

Percentage wise, Hamilton will see less of an increase in housing prices in 2015 than it did in 2014, a new RE/MAX report says. But that's because the city doesn't have enough housing supply to meet the demand. (Sheryl Nadler/CBC)

Experts predict Hamilton's housing market will see less growth overall next year than it did in 2014. But that doesn't mean the market isn't still hot, says one local realtor.

The annual RE/MAX 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report predicts housing prices in Hamilton-Burlington will increase by 2.7 per cent in 2015. That's down from this year, when they grew by 6 per cent.

But that doesn't mean the city should feel discouraged, said Conrad Zurini, a broker with RE/MAX Escarpment Realty. 

Housing prices will continue to grow by 5 per cent or more next year in cheaper housing areas, such as the lower city, he said.

The percentage is smaller because the amount of houses for sale in Hamilton are dwindling, so there isn't enough supply to meet the demand.

Hamilton will see less growth in mid-range areas, particularly in the $275,000 to $400,000 range, Zurini said. That's a popular price point for home shoppers, and Hamilton doesn't have enough of it to meet the ongoing demand. 

Options are also limited in the higher-range market, which is homes around $560,000 or higher, he said. 

"There's way more demand than there is actual supply," Zurini said. The smaller percentage overall is "a reflection of the inventory in those high-demand markets."

The percentage also reflects the prediction that interest rates will grow. The predictions in the RE/MAX report also align with those from a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation analyst in November.

Overall, the report shows the average housing growth Canada-wide will be 2.5 per cent.

The increases come despite the fact that inventory has increased in most housing markets, RE/MAX said. 

Vancouver and Toronto were among the country’s highest gains projected for 2015, as “inventory remains too low to meet demand,” RE/MAX said in its report. 

Other markets with large gains include Kelowna (7 per cent), Victoria (4 per cent), Windsor (5 per cent) and Moncton (6 per cent.)

The report shows that the average price for a house in Hamilton is as follows:

  • 2011: $333,498
  • 2012: $360,059
  • 2013: $383,840
  • 2014: $406,900
  • 2015: $417,900

The housing market is a sign of the resilience of Canada’s economy, said Gurinder Sandhu, regional director for RE/MAX Integra, in a media release Wednesday.

“Housing demand is being supported by steady employment and immigration, while our GDP is expected to grow another 2.5 per cent in 2015. This is mitigating the effects of higher inventory, which many markets have been experiencing due to increased development.”

Zurini and others also predicted in November that lack of available land would also impact the housing supply in Hamilton. They predicted the focus of the city's growing housing market would be in condo towers and in-filling urban areas rather than building more suburbs.

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