Oakville, with picturesque Lake Ontario waterfront and countless pockets of luxury homes, has boasted a strong housing market over the past few years. This suburban market was primed for balanced conditions coming into the new year, with an expected five-per-cent increases in prices, according to the RE/MAX 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report. Oakville is a hot destination for buyers looking to scale up, and those migrating out of the Toronto area.
As we rounded the corner into 2020, Oakville’s market was on target to meet these predictions, with activity heating up. The real estate landscape was abruptly cooled with the arrival of the COVID-19 global health crisis, which hit Canada in February. By March, most of the country had pressed pause on local economies and businesses, in favour of stay-at-home and social distancing measures. The Canadian real estate industry, including Realtors across Oakville, have been quick to pivot, adopting innovative technology tools to show houses, sign papers and interact with clients virtually. The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board (OMDREB) was in fact the first board in Ontario to temporarily suspend all open houses, in line with recommendations from health authorities.
While Oakville real estate has experienced notable dips during the pandemic period, the market has also shown resiliency, staying surprisingly active despite lockdown measures. Below, we take a closer look at how this local market has fared during COVID-19, and what trends we might expect to see in the months ahead.
Real Estate Market Activity in Oakville During COVID-19
According to the OMDREB, as the coronavirus trickled its way across communities over the course of February and March, Oakville’s housing market continued to thrive. Across both Milton and Oakville, both months saw upward growth in sales activity. The impact of social distancing measures and business closures that were imposed on March 13, only started to show in April.
In April, the Oakville housing market experienced a dramatic dip in activity; 289 homes were sold across the region, compared to 761 units sold in April 2019. The decrease in sales was accompanied by a drop in new listings hitting the market, with 559 new listings, down from 1,347 over the same period last year.
Despite a set of shocking statistics, OMDREB President Richard Weima commented in the Board’s most recent market report, that as a whole, Oakville’s market continues to see action. “Ultimately, some areas along with certain home types have been more impacted than others,” Weima noted.
Property Prices in the Oakville Market
Despite Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s (CMHC) prediction that home prices across Canada could potentially nosedive between 9 and 18 per cent over the year ahead, Oakville’s market has shown that average sale prices are holding strong throughout the pandemic period. By the end of April, the average price of a home in Oakville was up to $1,251,124, almost a 10-per-cent increase from last year’s average of $1,129,093.
According to active real estate agents within Oakville, this local market is holding its own amidst COVID-19, with activity already starting to accelerate, with brokerages making appointments, selling units and seeing multiple-offer scenarios. With the Ontario government announcing the start of a phased approach to lifting lockdown measures across the province, increasing numbers of sidelined buyers are expected to return to the market.
Weima confirmed that the stability of prices within the region’s market is a great sign for sellers who held off selling during the pandemic. “The pandemic has not changed the value of your property, which is a major benefit. If you are thinking of selling your home, keep a close eye on the market going forward. When it begins to rebound closer to the end of the year, use the minimal listing inventory to your advantage.”
This confirms that, not only has COVID-19 failed in softening the average price of an Oakville home, but it has also not impacted the market’s potential to continue on this upward trajectory and end 2020 on a higher-priced note. Oakville is expected to remain a high-priced sellers’ market for the foreseeable future.
While it remains impossible to predict with certainty what the economic and real estate landscape will look like within the months ahead, local markets across Canada, such as the suburban community of Oakville, are proving that the demand for housing is strong enough to help stimulate a healthy market re-bound. Whether you are looking to buy or see within the Oakville community over the next quarter, ensure that you secure the services of a trusted, experience Realtor to help you navigate the new normal for safe transactions as part of this essential service.