Which Regions in Ontario Have Increased the Most in Price?

Ontario saw a surge in housing prices in the wake of COVID-19. These are trends driven by those looking to work from home more often and others with the desire to move to more rural and suburban areas. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average sale price increased across the province by 25% from February 2020 to 2021.1 

The wave of relentless buyer demand and the low number of listings continued to drive prices up across Ontario at the start of 2022. In January, the average residential price of a home in Ontario increased another 26% year over year in the face of falling sales numbers.  
 
See the figure below for Ontario’s regional average price breakdown from CREA. 

Ontario Monthly Summary - 2

For many real estate investors and homeowners, the decision to purchase a property comes down to cost. So, you may be wondering: which cities within Ontario have experienced the largest increases to average sale price? The numbers say, Hamilton, Peel, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brantford, and Barrie all experienced increases to average sale prices far above the provincial average.  
 
The data doesn’t lie. These cities have become some of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

Hamilton – January 2022 

  • Average Price: $1,058,756 
  • YOY Change: +35% 

For the first time, the average sale price surpassed the $1M mark in the Hamilton-Burlington region to start the year. With inventory still low across Ontario, demand is driving prices up, but Hamilton offers a wide variety of elements that make it a great place to invest. It is the home to McMaster University3, tons of hiking trails and waterfalls,4 and provides access to an international airport.5 These are three things providing demand, recreation, and industry in the region.  

Peel - January 2022 

  • Average Price: $1,291,955  
  • YOY Change: +36%  

Despite a slowing number of sales, the average sale price for residential homes jumped significantly year over year in Peel region. Canadians looking for prices lower than the City of Toronto have long-sought-after Peel for the extra square footage and natural surroundings. But the quick access to green spaces and the trails linked by the near Oak Ridges Moraine and Niagara Escarpment have quickly driven up the prices in this region to the delight of early property investors.  

Kitchener Waterloo – January 2022 

  • Average price: $955,665  
  • YOY Change: +37% 

The start of the year in the Kitchener-Waterloo region was marked with a record number of home sales in January. For decades, it’s been cheaper to buy a home in the KW region vs the GTA and surrounding suburbs. But with the growing population,6 high-tech district,7 and multiple universities,8 it’s quickly catching up to the larger city-centres of Ontario. It ranked third for year over year increase across all regions featured in our January State of the Real Estate Market report.  

Brantford - January 2022 

  • Average Price: $758,300   
  • YOY Change: +42% 

A record number of properties sold in the Brantford region to start the year and strong demand across all home types continues to drive the year-over-year price up. The region has long been a great place to live due to the multitude of educational programs, accessible transportation, and growing industries.9 Now with tight supply across the province, Brantford has seen some of the largest year over year percentage increases to the residential selling price.  

Barrie - January 2022 

  • Average Price: $880,300 
  • YOY Change: +39%  

Barrie was another region in Ontario hampered by low inventory to begin 2022. But tight market conditions are not the only factors driving up the average sale price in the region. Barrie is located right off the 400, only about 45 minutes north of Toronto and 45 minutes south of Collingwood. It also has access to the Go Train10 providing direct access to Union Station in downtown Toronto. While being ideally situated for the work commute, the region is nestled in valleys and hills ripe for all sorts of outdoor activities. It checks a lot of boxes for investors and price growth has followed suit.  

 
Final Thoughts 

When it comes to average selling price, the cities surrounding the GTA are no longer simply playing second fiddle to the Toronto region. Remote work is feasible in many professional environments, which has increased the value of investing in property with more outdoor space and square footage. The shortage in inventory certainly doesn’t help, but the data does not lie: Hamilton, Peel, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brantford, and Barrie all experienced increases to average sale prices far above the provincial average.  
 
As more emerging cities across Ontario grow and become world-class, prices across the province will follow suit with the demand to live in lively, safe, and economically effective situations. On average the five regions’ average sale price increased by 38% year over year.  
 
These cities have become some of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

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*Cash back – How the Home Buying Service cash back works: FairSquare Group Realty will share with the buyer the commission it receives from the seller’s agent up to a maximum of $2,000 in cash back. No cash back if the commission received is lower than $5,000. Where available.

On December 1, 2021, Purplebricks rebranded to FairSquare Group Realty. Blog articles published before this date were created under the Purplebricks brand but remain the property of FairSquare Group Realty.

In January 2019, ComFree Commonsense Network Brokerage rebranded to Purplebricks.