WINDSOR, ONT. -- Long considered one of the most affordable places to live, Windsor now has the hottest real estate market in the country.

A new report published by the Canadian Real Estate Association shows yet another massive increase in home prices — up a staggering 30 per cent over last September.

“We’ve never been regarded as a city to go to at this level before. And now people really want to live here,” says Rhys Trenhaile, a real estate agent with Manor Realty’s Vanguard Team.

The demand for homes — combined with limited listings — is forcing prices higher than ever before in Windsor.

According to the CREA report, the average sale price of a home in Windsor is $419,711 — which is double the price of a home sold five years ago.

Trenhaile estimates the increase has created more than $20 billion of personal wealth for homeowners.

“That’s real money eventually when people refinance their houses,” says Trenhaile. “They’re taking that wealth and reinvesting it. It creates jobs, it creates business expansion. I think Windsorites are going to be pleasantly surprised at what’s coming from that wealth over the next 10 to 20 years.”

Trenhaile says the other upside of elevated prices is that long dormant and vacant lots are now being developed.

According to the City of Windsor’s building department, the value of residential construction has increased by $35 million in 2020 — with a six per cent gain in new single family dwellings.

“Now you’re seeing all these major announcements — especially in the downtown core — of thousands of thousands of residential units that are going to be built and it’s because builders can now make a buck,” Trenhaile says, adding new housing stock in the development pipeline will also provide homebuyers with more supply to choose from — putting rental increases and bidding wars in check.

“With time, we’re building enough stock, people are starting to build the mother-in-law suites, the pressure is going to start to abate, it’s going to go away."