I predict that the price of houses in towns and cities that are within one to two hours of Toronto will skyrocket in value over the next two years, outpacing the average price appreciation for all residential real estate in Ontario. There are three reasons I make this prediction.
First, with the onset of COVID, a lot of employers have been forced to permit their employees to work from home. This is a trend that is here to stay. Even bankers and lawyers are working from home. That flexibility and the concept that you may only need to attend the office in person two to three days a week removes the need for people to live in or near the big city. Commuting a few days a week is not as onerous as commuting every single weekday. This provides flexibility and opens up a much larger radius around the city for purchasing a home. The smaller towns are far more affordable than Toronto. A colleague of mine recently bought a brand new home in Bracebridge for less than $500,000. That is an attractive metric for many people who currently live in the city.
Second, there are so many condominium dwellers and apartment dwellers who are sick of waiting 45 minutes or more for the elevator due to social distancing. They are also tired of heading up and down the emergency exit stairs trying to keep their distance. They are desperate to breathe the fresh air and spend some time outdoors given the state of emergency orders that have been in place. Many condominiums and apartments have no outdoor space. Those feelings of having been cooped up in a box will drive many of those condominium owners to sell their condominiums and purchase houses that they can afford…and those affordable communities are typically at least an hour outside of Toronto and often as far away as two hours away.
Finally, the price of houses in the city of Toronto remains incredibly high. The prices are completely unaffordable for most families. Anyone coming into the city from elsewhere in Canada cannot afford to buy in Toronto. That lack of access to affordable houses in the city will drive people who want a backyard and their own house further and further outside of the city limits.
Those three trends support my prediction that homes in the surrounding communities within one to two hours of Toronto will skyrocket over the next two years. We’ll see if the prediction comes to fruition.