Windsor-Essex's real estate market expected to stay hot in 2021
The average sale price has increased by 24 per cent, according to the latest monthly report
It took Vanessa Plourde and her husband, Brandon Mousseau, several years to finally purchase their "forever" home in Windsor.
As second-time home buyers, she says they were able to purchase a house now knowing they could sell their current house at a much higher price than what they bought it for nine years ago.
This is not the case for many first-time home buyers, she said, adding that prices for homes in the region have "skyrocketed." One realtor says prices will only continue to rise this year.
"It makes it really challenging for younger people such as ourselves and young, new home buyers because you're competing with maybe people coming out of town like Toronto who are selling their houses for a lot more and then they have more money to spend in this area," Plourde said.
"Certainly the prices have skyrocketed, but then that also helps us in return. For one, we're going to sell our house because it's going to be worth more. So it balances out in the end for us. But I can see for first-time home buyers it being definitely a challenge."
She said they bought their first house for around $178,000 and will be looking into selling it for $400,000.
The average sale price in the region is currently $420,000, according to the latest monthly report by the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors, which is 24 per cent more than the sale price it was in November 2019.
Plourde said she and her husband were part of bidding wars in the past — something that Maggie Chen, a Broker of Record at LC Platinum Realty in Windsor, says will likely not slow down this year.
"Because of the shortages of the inventory, I think the price growth will still be very strong entering 2021," Chen said, adding that the housing market in Windsor-Essex is "crazy" and prices will only continue to rise this year.
Chen attributes the rise in housing prices to three things: increase in immigration and population growth, the low mortgage interest rate and the increased demand to own a home, especially from young people.
"I think during this pandemic, a lot more people spent a lot more time at home. And then they realized ... it's so joyful to stay at home. So I have a lot of clients and also our agents are starting to think, 'okay, maybe we should buy a bigger home,'" she said, adding that the demand for building homes has also increased.
"Another trend is for the young people, young couples. I helped a lot of young couples to actually enter into home ownership because when you stay in an apartment, [it's] not your own home, you don't call it a home. You don't have the sense of belonging. So I think that kind of drives up the price as well," she said.
Prices still lower than other cities, says Chen
Chen urges anyone who is able to afford to buy a home to do it now.
"My advice is always to talk to the bank, get your mortgage approval to see what is your affordability level," she said. "Exhaust your resources to get a market approval and then buy. As soon as you [can]" .. because she doesn't expect prices to lower too much in the months ahead.
Chen adds that although house prices in Windsor-Essex are rising, they are still lower compared to other cities in the country.
"Don't be scared of the price growth, the strong price growth. We are still in a very good market to be able to buy a home and be a homeowner. So 2021 is good."
With files from Katerina Georgieva