Photographer: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Toronto Million-Dollar Homes Pushing Demand to Nearby Cities

  • Permits in Hamilton rose to record C$204 million in September
  • St. Catharines also seeing demand as Toronto prices soar

Toronto’s hot housing market is driving residents to seek more affordable options outside Canada’s largest city, pushing demand for new properties to new highs in these outlying towns.

Residential permits in Hamilton, a city of about 500,000 people an hour’s drive from Toronto, more than doubled to a record C$204 million ($153 million) in September, according to Statistics Canada. That’s the largest jump in more than six years for the area reliant on manufacturing and steel production. The value of permits in St. Catharines, in the wine-growing Niagara region, jumped to the second highest on record to C$66 million in the month.

The surge in new housing demand in outlying regions of Toronto comes amid escalating prices and all-time-high sales in Canada’s financial capital. The average price of a detached house in downtown Toronto jumped 22 percent in October from the prior year to C$1.3 million amid a record number of sales, according to the city’s real estate board. The more affordable condominiums are also facing growing demand and escalating costs, with sales up 20 percent and the average price up 13 percent, nearing half-a-million dollars.

Hamilton-Burlington is already feeling the effects of the pent-up housing demand. Sales of all housing types rose to a record high for the month of October as listings dropped 3.2 percent and properties were snapped up within a month of listing. The average price of a freehold home increased 15 percent to C$540,250, still less than half the cost of a Toronto property.

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