Hamilton condo prices jumped more than 9% last quarter, survey says

Condo prices in Hamilton jumped 9.1 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, beating the national average, along with the rate of appreciation for all other types of homes locally.

'I don’t think this is boom-time once again. I think it’s a slow, steady climb this year.'

Home prices in Hamilton continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Royal LePage, especially when it came to condominiums. (CBC)

Condo prices in Hamilton jumped 9.1 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, beating the national average, along with the rate of appreciation for all other types of homes locally.

The increase was well above the rise in aggregate price for a home in the city, which went up 3.9 per cent over the same period to $577,654, according to the house price survey released by Royal LePage Friday.

That's because the local condo market is benefiting from interest on all sides, according Martin Mazza, a sales representative for the real estate company.

"We've got first-time buyers finding them for affordability, we've got retirees downsizing into it," he said. "We've got investors who have looked at the new condo buildings, the mid-rise stuff."

Mazza pointed to the area's low rate of unemployment and growing economy as two factors playing a role in the rising prices.

City still affordable compared to Toronto

The survey shows median prices for two-storey homes and bungalows in Hamilton also increased year-over-year, rising 3.2 per cent to $610,595 and 2.9 per cent to $510,325 respectively.

Hamilton is also continuing to benefit from close proximity to Toronto, Mazza said, because despite the increases, prices here are still "very affordable" compared to what's available in the GTA.

Across the country the survey found prices continued to climb during the fourth quarter, climbing 4 per cent year-over-year to $631,223.

Here's a breakdown of prices by housing type:

  • The median price of a two-storey home rose 3.9 per cent to $745,007.
  • The median price of a bungalow climbed 1.5 per cent to $516,950.
  • The media price of a condominium increased 7.2 per cent to $447,915.

Despite the fact home prices have continued to go up, Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said the country's economy hit the "reset button" on the real estate market in 2018.

"Major market home price inflation through much of the decade had led to dangerous overheating in our most populous regions," he explained. "Government regulatory intervention and rising interest rates, when combined with property price overshooting, triggered the correctional cycle we find ourselves working through today."

2018's market 'more sustainable'

Mazza said the same trend was true locally with a very different market compared to the "craziness" of 2017.

"It's more sustainable. With the exception of the condos we're not seeing the big jumps, the 10, 12, 15 per cent increases that are not sustainable in the long run."

The new year is off to a strong start too, with mild weather keeping prospective home buyers active and a "healthy market" that's drawing lots of attention.

But with the Bank of Canada predicting at least two interest bumps in coming months Mazza said it's tough to predict what 2019 will hold for Hamilton's housing market.

"I don't think this is boom-time once again. I think it's a slow, steady climb this year."

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