Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Sandra O’Donohue reported 1,200 residential transactions in July 2016, a slight increase from the same time last year. “The market has kept a steady pace into mid-summer,” stated O’Donohue. There were 1,459 new listings in July 2016 compared to 1,511 in July 2015.
“The prices of homes have continued to increase,” added O’Donohue. The average selling price in Durham reached $547,496 last month. In comparison, the average selling price was $448,048 during the same period last year; a 22 per cent increase. Homes have continued to sell quickly in an average of 12 days compared to 18 days last year. “Competition is intense in Durham Region,” says O’Donohue.
With listing shortages common in the Greater Toronto Area and Durham Region, British Columbia’s verdict to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers have driven worry in Ontario. “I welcome what [B.C.] is putting forward,” says Ontario’s Finance Minister, Charles Sousa. “We’re certainly looking at whatever options can be made available.”
While the new tax may drive some purchasers to Ontario in the short-term, Sousa explains it is important to consider how similar policies could have repercussions to other parts of Ontario that aren’t experiencing the same extreme pricing.
“There could be a ripple effect to the Durham Region if we see an influx of foreign buyers in Toronto,” explains O’Donohue. “Durham Region is an affordable area within arm’s reach, that’s appealing for anyone looking to avoid the higher Toronto prices.”