Windsor housing market booms during pandemic
The region has seen nearly a 20 per cent jump in house prices compared to last year
Windsor-Essex's real estate market is red hot, according to Windsor real estate agent Aditya Soma who says he has never seen housing prices so high in the region.
According to the recent report by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average home price in the area is $401,465, which is an increase of $65,422 — or 19 per cent — from last June's prices.
Soma attributes part of the price increase to the growing demand of buyers from outside the region who can work from home and no longer find it necessary to live in a big city as a result.
"A lot of people who've got flexibility to work from home — who are living in bigger cities, like Toronto and Vancouver — those are the ones looking to move," he said.
"With the amount of rent they used to pay in Toronto and Vancouver, ... now they can buy a house in Windsor and literally that rent can cover the mortgage and expenses."
Soma said the housing boom during the pandemic is "not at all expected because so many people lost jobs and so many people are suffering," but adds supply and demand may a factor, since there is low supply in Windsor but a lot of buyers are looking to put in their money.
He said it's a good time for home buyers to sell their homes.
Savio Almeida, an investor in Windsor who came from Oakville in 2017, said Windsor's housing market is what brought him to the city.
"If you look everywhere else in the GTA or closer to the Toronto area, houses are unaffordable. People can't afford to buy houses nor can they afford to rent them," he said, adding that the entry barrier to the housing market in Windsor is much lower compared to other cities.
"From the investor point of view or for a homeowner point of view as well, if they want to buy something, they can still get big homes or big lots versus in the Toronto area where you're getting a tiny piece of land ...and costs may be double, triple even," he said.
Almeida, who owns five properties in the city, said he feels great to see it appreciate so rapidly, adding that there may be times where the market dips, but it will negate overtime.
He also said he's noticed a steady rise in interested buyers both within and outside of the region.
In addition to the lower housing prices, Soma said Windsor makes it an attractive city to buyers and investors because of its close proximity to Detroit, low traffic, relatively warm weather and views, the casino and the imminent construction of the mega hospital.
He said it's hard to predict where the market will go in the coming months but is optimistic that Windsor will see continued growth.