One of the largest impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had over the last two years is on the real estate market, and Brantford and the County of Brant are no exception.
According to Brantford Regional Real Estate Association, also known as BRREA, the average price of a detached home in Brantford and Brant was up 40 percent in January from 2021.
Kerri Hoskin, a Brantford realtor with Royal LePage, said there are a number of reasons the market continues to climb in the area, with the recent pandemic being a key factor.
“The connection between COVID-19 and the rise in the real estate market is baffling,” she said, “Extremely low mortgage rates played a factor in it for sure. We saw record low rates making mortgage payments hundreds of dollars cheaper each month than they would have been without the decreased rate.”
Hoskin said that Brantford used to be an affordable place to buy a home, and the market used to fluctuate more throughout the year.
“Winter used to be a time to find a deal, and spring was the hot market everyone was waiting for to achieve top dollar on their home,” she explained. “Now, there are no dips. There are no ‘good deals’ to be found. The average home price has risen so dramatically, purchasing a home has become unattainable for many.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to relocate from larger cities, like those in the Greater Toronto Area. With people spending less time in the office and working from home, the need to be in the city has decreased.
With highway 403 access and proximity to the GTA, Brantford and Brant have become ideal locations for those looking to escape the bigger cities.
Hoskin noted that the demand that this has caused and the number of listings, or lack thereof, contributes to the rising price of homes in the area.
“It all comes down to supply and demand,” Hoskin said. “We just lack inventory so naturally, the price is bid up when we have more people looking to purchase homes than we have for sale.”
Hoskin said that while she doesn’t have a crystal ball, trends in the market in the past few years don’t show it cooling down.
“Real estate has always proven to be an incredible investment because it is always going up,” she said. “I don’t think you can count on a crash, in fact all the research points to a continued rise for a number of years. My hope is that things will flatline.”
She encourages those looking to get into the market to take the leap, even if it’s not the home of their dreams.
“Right now, I would look at a purchase as a short-term plan,” she said. “Don’t approach your search like it is your forever home. I even tell people that if they can’t afford a home in the city they live in, purchase a home in a city you can afford and rent it out. That way, you are building equity, you have someone else paying your mortgage, and your asset is increasing in value. Also, make sure you work with an agent you trust who has full knowledge of the market.”