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Rise in Windsor home prices outpacing Ontario average, new report finds

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A new report shows Windsor's nearly $18,000 increase in average home sales prices over a recent 12-month period was the eighth highest in Ontario, compared to 21 other cities in the province.

The report, released Monday by CalgaryHomes.ca, shows homes sold for an average of $585,000 in January 2024. In the same month last year, the average selling price was $564,700 — a difference of $17,800.

"Windsor has seen its house prices rise by two times the provincial average," the report reads.

According to Manor Windsor Realty General Manager Rob Agnew, the slight rise in home sales price is indicative of Windsor being a "well-kept secret" which has since been discovered in recent years.

"Prices will jump next year when all those people start flooding into town," said Agnew, referencing the influx of new residents expected to flock to Windsor when the NextStar Energy battery plant opens. "I think this is our new norm."

He pointed to other well-documented factors such as inflation and high interest rates for why home sales prices remain steadily high.

"Prices could stabilize once the younger people jump back into the market and the spring rush has ended," said Agnew.

However, that's easier said than done.

According to realtor Samreen Al-Taher of RE/MAX CARE Realty, who said many of her clients are first-time homebuyers, young locals are still being priced out by out-of-town investors.

"I'm finding the Toronto market is still finding its ways into Windsor," she said, adding the trend is leading to hesitation among young buyers to jump into home ownership. "They’re sitting at home in mom and dad’s basement and they’re waiting it out. In the meantime, I’m telling them, 'It’s great to wait it out but let’s keep looking though.' What if something comes up?"

Al-Taher advises people to educate themselves on interest patterns and consider extending their closing date to allow them to get their finances in order, if they're feeling leery about viewing a home for sale.

"Real estate is essentially a lottery system. If you never enter into the lottery, if you never enter in an offer or a bid on a property, you never know if you’re going to get it," she said.

Surpassing Windsor in the CalgaryHomes.ca ranking were Brantford ($17,900), Ottawa ($20,800), Cambridge ($28,200), Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound ($29,600), Sudbury ($47,100), Brampton ($49,223), and Bancroft ($71,200).

As for Agnew, he advises young people to enter the housing market as soon as possible.

For people concerned about having the funds to make a down payment, "they're probably going to have to have some help from the bank of mom and dad temporarily," he said.

He added that anyone concerned about locking themselves into a long-term interest rate should consider opting for a short-term open mortgage.

A short-term open mortgage is a flexible loan option with a relatively brief duration, typically one to two years, allowing borrowers to make additional payments or repay the loan in full without penalties.

It offers adaptability for borrowers who anticipate interest rate decreases and prefer flexibility in their mortgage terms. However, short-term open mortgages often come with higher interest rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages.

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