Keeping pace with the real estate industry requires constant diligence and attention, especially in the digital age. Things can change overnight: prices can fluctuate, consumer behaviour might shift on a dime, and new technologies may emerge to disrupt the entire process as you know it.
This is especially true in Ontario, a historically hot market that’s quick to embrace new ideas. If you’re a buyer or seller who feels lost in the woods – or a real estate professional looking to brush up on recent developments – this article is for you. Below, let’s attempt to outline a few emerging home buying trends in Canada’s largest province.
The Ottawa Citizen calls it the “urban exodus.” Reuters is a little blunter, saying, “So long Toronto” amid the hastened migration from Ontario’s biggest city. But let’s give it a more technical name here: suburbanization.
Initially precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, suburbanization is still alive and well in Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, roughly 64,000 people left Toronto alone between 2020 and 2021, a sizable increase over the prior year. And subsequent years, while slowing down slightly, have continued the trend.
You can expect this trend to have knock-on effects on the price of real estate in suburban areas in the metro GTA and mid-sized cities like London and Peterborough.
Rate Hikes and Price Drops
This is perhaps the biggest story emerging in real estate right now. Some agents move to downplay it, while others caution consumers to ride out the storm. Essentially, the Bank of Canada is hiking rates in an effort to manage inflation, which has the ancillary effect of slowing demand. Subsequently, the overall price of real estate is dipping slightly.
Many real estate experts expect this “cooling period” to last only a couple of years. And few expect prices to drop below pre-pandemic levels. In short: yes, buying trends have softened slightly, but it’s probably not as scary as some headlines suggest.
Digitization, Consumer Centricity and Real Estate Digital Marketplaces
Let’s move toward bigger picture stuff: how real estate consumerism has morphed in the presence of new digital tools and services.
The big news story to know here is Nobul, a real estate digital marketplace from Toronto that matches buyers/sellers with relevant real estate agents. The platform is seeing a massive uptake by users who are keen to evaluate their options, and several practitioners like it, too – it’s a convenient way to find qualified leads (even if it is decidedly not a lead generation platform).
Nobul CE O Regan McGee recently told Superb Crew that the platform’s mission is to bring “choice, accountability and transparency to an industry that has – for decades – been widely regarded by homebuyers as opaque and challenging.” The innovative real estate digital marketplace is part of a large-scale push in the industry toward consumer centrism.
On the topic of emerging trends, there’s more ground to cover. This article could have easily highlighted demographic changes in real estate (welcome, Millennials!) or location-specific hotspots (Hamilton, for instance). But the three trends above constitute the biggest recent news stories. Hopefully, this article offers a firmer grasp of a constantly evolving topic.