The Whitby housing market has seen a tremendous bounce-back following an earlier slump this year. This post will detail the market’s current situation to help you better understand what you might be getting into if you’re considering a new home in Whitby.
Keep in mind that this post does not constitute financial advice. Rather, we’re analyzing market data and providing our perspective based on our expertise in the Ontario real estate market.
Whitby Housing Market Overview For June 2020
Whitby house prices climbed to an average of $815,000 between the months of May and June, according to Zolo. That’s up a staggering 19.1% from the previous period of April to May, when house prices in Whitby, Ontario had fallen all the way down to $673,000 on average.
Numbers like these mean that the Whitby housing market’s recovery has been more swift than that of many other cities in the GTA.
The growth has been enough to push Whitby house price growth into positive territory for not just the quarter but the entire year, which is now 19.3% in the green.
Time Spent On The Market
While house prices in Whitby, Ontario have risen, so too has the number of days properties currently spend on the market. Homes spend an average of 46 days on the market as of writing, up significantly from the 16-day average seen this time last year.
It’s not hard to imagine why this is the case. The COVID-19 pandemic shook many prospective buyers and sellers out of the market. In fact, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation have predicted that sales will be deflated until 2022 as a result of the pandemic.
These expectations are nation-wide, however. Statistics from Zolo show that cities are being affected in very different ways. House prices in Toronto, for example, remain down 8.2% for the quarter.
While the period between May and June saw a dramatic increase in house valuations for Whitby, Toronto’s housing prices nudged upward only slightly.
There are many possible reasons for this. Municipalities in Durham Region are among the most sought-after Greater Toronto Area suburbs. They’re still close enough to the city that you can reasonably commute to work. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to afford a much nicer home on a bigger lot than you could ever afford in the city.
You should also remember that many jobs in Canada are moving online for good. Those who previously lived in the city to be close to work no longer have to do so.
There are several key pieces of data that suggest demand and preference are at least partially to blame for the disparity between the Whitby market’s recovery and that of other municipalities.
In addition to house prices in Toronto still being deflated, properties are currently spending slightly longer on the market than those in Whitby – 48 days on average.
Another potential explanation for the Whitby housing market’s quick recovery is an overall lack of supply. This time last year, there were more than 400 active listings in Whitby, with 205 being sold. Currently, there are just 270 listings.
These properties are overwhelmingly detached homes, representing Whitby’s difference in lifestyle compared to cities like Toronto. Condos still sell in single-digit quantities compared to detached homes and townhouses.
What Does This All Mean For Homeowners?
This year has undoubtedly been a nervewracking time for people looking to buy their first homes. Economic turmoil has affected not just house prices but also job security. Many are unfortunately no longer in a healthy financial situation. At Paradise Developments, we sympathize greatly with those who may, unfortunately, feel the need to put off plans for achieving milestones as significant as purchasing a home.
There’s good news in all of this, though.
If your financial situation has remained largely unchanged since this all began, generally lower house prices throughout the GTA may work in your favor. Paradise Developments has partnered with Scotiabank mortgage specialists to offer pre-approvals for our clients. This is actually among the perks of purchasing a new-build. Traditionally, you’d have to secure a mortgage on your own, which can be daunting even in the best of times.
Be sure to check out our market overviews for these cities as well:
What Does The Future Hold?
It’s very difficult to predict what housing markets will look like a few months from now. This can leave many prospective buyers feeling anxious about whether they truly should be purchasing a home right now.
Here’s some food for thought.
Experts are generally not expecting a full collapse of Canada’s housing market, despite the current challenges. In fact, some (including RE/MAX) have described the recent turbulence as a correction. It’s important to remember that property valuations in Ontario had been rising at unprecedented levels for years. At the end of 2019, experts were speculating as to whether the next recession would finally pop what many felt was a “real estate bubble.”
In other words, it can be helpful to think of the current real estate market situation as more of a retreat from unsustainable highs.
Above all else, however, you can find reassurance in Canada’s strict mortgage regulations. Stress testing is mandatory when securing a mortgage from a major bank – and it’s gotten much stricter in recent years. On one hand, the process can be negative in that it may prevent you from securing as large a mortgage as you might want. A healthier way to look at things, however, is to understand that mortgage restrictions give you a better picture of what you can actually afford. Measures taken during stress testing include:
- Verification of your credit and 20% downpayment
- Demonstration of your ability to make payments even at interest rates higher than what you’ll actually be approved for
That second point is important since it means your ability to pay your mortgage will be calculated based on financial circumstances tighter than the current situation.
Even private lenders that aren’t mandated to use this enhanced stress testing do so anyway since it reduces their risk as well.
Prospective homeowners may find this entire process reassuring in the current climate given its uncertainty.