Windsor’s housing market strong with prices and sales trending up, study say

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Windsor Star/Dave Battagello

Brisk housing sales pushed the average residential housing price in Windsor-Essex up five per cent in 2014, rising to $192,200 from $183,518, according to a national housing market report released Wednesday.

And the good news is expected to continue into 2015 with gains of an additional five per cent expected, predicts the outlook conducted by Remax Realty which studied residential sales across Canada.

It appears things didn’t start to heat up until winter released it’s grip on the region.

“We were buried under snow to start the year, no doubt about that,” said Glen Muir, broker/owner for Remax Preferred Realty. “That really slowed things down.

“Then there started to be some positive news of companies coming here, you have the new (Herb Gray Parkway) on the west side and possible bridge. All that created a lot of positive attitudes. People really got out and started shopping.”

The total number of home sales locally were not provided in the study other than to say “very similar” as 2013.

“There was a slight inventory shortage in 2014 and the housing market in the coming year is expected to experience a similar shortage,” according to the report.

“However, if demand for new homes continues to grow, pressure should be taken off of the resale market.”

Windsor also remains one of the most affordable communities for home buyers in Canada, the study said.

The average sale price of just under $192,200 is by far the lowest among cities studied in Ontario with London the next highest at $254,000.

Elsewhere nationally, only cities in the Atlantic provinces – Fredericton, St. John, Moncton and Charlottetown – have average homes prices lower than Windsor’s.

This city’s home values are especially paltry when taking a look at the country’s largest urban centres where the highest average residential sale prices for this year occurred in Greater Toronto ($566,400), Calgary ($483,000) and Greater Vancouver ($838,400).

The average sale price for all of Canada to date this year is $406,145.

The full report can be found here
Home prices are lower here than other municipalities because Windsor remains dominated by the manufacturing sector, while cities such as Toronto or Ottawa are home to corporate head offices that pay wages which lead to higher-price homes, Muir said.

“This is where we are slated, but we offer the best weather and are surrounded by water so you see more and more people who are retiring here,” he said.

“You can sell in some of these cities for $800,000. You can buy something here for $250,000, then go south and buy a condo for $150,000 or $200,000 and you still have a couple hundred thousand in the bank.”

First-time buyer purchases also remain strong in Windsor thanks to favourable interest rates with affordability “good for this demographic,” the report said. The strongest market activity locally was with homes sold in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

A strong market trend lasting over the last several years has firmly been established in Windsor for first-time buyers, Muir said.

“It’s the interest rates,” he said. “You can find a 2.98 per cent mortgage for people. When you look at that, a $100,000 or $150,000 home can be cheaper than renting for some people.”