After a decade of uninterrupted growth, housing values in Hamilton-Burlington have more than doubled. Average price has appreciated 110 per cent, rising from $274,798 in 2007 to $576,418 in 2017, providing a compounded annual rate of return of almost eight per cent. Local purchasers continue to fuel the renaissance in Hamilton-Burlington, alongside those buyers drawn from Toronto and surrounding areas.
Inventory has been a major factor in rising housing values. As purchasers from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) sought refuge from rapidly rising prices, the influx of new buyers into Hamilton and Burlington placed substantial pressure on the market. Sales have soared and supply has dwindled—particularly at starting price points—and values climbed. Announcements such as the extension of the GO Transit line into Hamilton further bolstered home-buying activity, with one in every four purchasers hailing from the GTA. Throughout 2015, 2016 and much of 2017, existing homeowners took advantage of serious equity gains, trading up to larger homes or better neighbourhoods, and sparking sales in both Burlington’s and Hamilton’s luxury markets. Burlington’s northeast quadrant in particular has experienced tremendous growth, as demand for property in Oakville spilled over into Burlington.
Economic diversity has been key to the revitalization of both Hamilton’s and Burlington’s housing markets in the past 10-year period. With renewed focus on business development in Hamilton, considerable time and effort has been spent attracting and retaining business, urban renewal and the advancement of small business growth. Burlington is currently looking at two substantial projects. These include four strategic employment areas and an innovation district that would add as many as 30,000 jobs once completed.
Education, healthcare and manufacturing remain Hamilton’s largest employers. Unemployment rates in the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) have steadily trended downward and now sit at 4.6 per cent (figure accurate as of December 2017). This represents one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Priorities such as the light rail transit system and the redevelopment of Hamilton’s waterfront have helped to secure investment in the core and beyond. Additionally, a new waterfront hotel, condominium and trail have been proposed for Burlington. Population growth remains one of Hamilton’s greatest strengths, with a gain of 4.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011, and 3.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016. That momentum is expected to continue through the next five years, with immigration playing a major role.
Solid economic fundamentals are expected to support Hamilton-Burlington’s residential real estate market moving forward. Healthy home-buying activity should serve to prop up sales and price throughout the year, particularly in Northeast Burlington and Waterdown, while value-conscious buyers seeking affordably-priced properties fuel demand in areas such as East Hamilton. The top end of the market is forecast to experience another strong year of activity, but fall short of peak 2017 levels. Average price is projected to climb, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.