The early days of 2021 have generated a high level of attention on housing prices across Waterloo Region and southern Ontario.
According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR), detached homes sold for an average price of $910,126 across the two cities during the month of February 2021, an increase of 35.4 percent in one year.
Increasingly the focus is also shifting from housing prices to the broader portfolio of living costs. Radio host Mike Farwell noted local rents are approaching $2,000 monthly for most multi-bedroom units with increases around four percent. Securing any type of accommodation is a major challenge with personal accounts from friends and family a common discussion around all of us.
Many residents across southern Ontario are attempting to mitigate these issues by exploring and pursuing housing options outside their communities – and often locations far outside the 519 area code.
The provincial government of New Brunswick is partnering with officials from their larger municipalities to attract residents of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver under the belief that Canadians possess the capacity to work from anywhere. An official from Moncton indicated their province provides affordable housing with a connection to nature that is not available across Canada. In precise terms, no post-pandemic morning traffic gridlocks are anticipated.
The offer sounds attractive although some recent media reports have indicated prospective buyers may want to compile some vital research before making what could be their largest lifetime financial commitment.
The campaign for moving people across Canada is based on the notion that a reliable internet connection provides new housing choices. However, as many municipalities, businesses, school boards and health care providers have informed federal and provincial officials for many years, rural Canada and other areas have insufficient broadband capabilities.
A CBC report included an interview from a Toronto couple who relocated to rural New Brunswick before the pandemic. Their message for potential buyers is to think carefully before calling a moving company. The internet services are not comparable as two people in one rural house cannot participate in two Zoom calls.
Home prices are rising in Waterloo Region since it remains an excellent location for permanent residence and employment opportunities. Relocation is a huge decision and all factors should be considered.
Written by Art Sinclair