• Boomers driving housing growth in Hamilton

    Hamilton’s white-hot housing market is showing no signs of slowing down – thanks in part to wealthier, healthier baby boomers.

    According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Hamilton is on track to break its record of 13,471 home sales this year. Abdul Kargbo, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Hamilton and Brantford, says Hamilton will see 14,000 home sales in 2014.

    And there’s more good news on the horizon.

    Next year is expected to be another strong year for Hamilton housing, with sales staying at the 14,000 mark. Growth is expected to slow down somewhat in 2016, but homeowners aren’t expected to see any losses in value.

    One of the biggest factors driving Hamilton’s housing market, Kargbo said, is that baby boomers are staying in their homes.

    In the 2001 census, 55 per cent of Hamiltonians over the age of 75 were living in a single, detached home. In the 2011 census, that number had climbed to 59 per cent.

    Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1966 – are still the largest generation in the housing market, so their needs continue to have a huge influence on real estate values.

    Compared to past generations, boomers are richer, healthier, and staying in the workforce longer. As a result, instead of downsizing, many boomers are choosing instead to renovate their existing homes in order to “age in place.”

    “Many baby boomers are not giving up their existing homes. So that creates a supply shortage, if you will,” Kargbo said.

    Hamilton also continues to see an influx of buyers who are being priced out of Toronto’s expensive housing market. More people are moving into Hamilton than moving out, said Kargbo.

    While that is good news for homeowners, it also means that first-time buyers or those looking to move into larger homes are being pushed out of the market. This has created an interesting phenomenon where Torontonians are moving to Hamilton for cheaper real estate, while Hamiltonians, in turn, are moving to communities where prices are still more affordable.

    “What we’ve seen is that locals who are priced out are shifting to places like Brantford,” Kargbo said. “According to the 2011 census, we see more people moving from Hamilton to Brantford.”

    At CMHC’s Hamilton Housing Outlook Seminar on Tuesday, one of the solutions posed for Hamilton’s housing affordability issues was intensification. Housing experts say that building on already-developed properties – whether it’s adapting and reusing a school or office building, constructing on an empty lot, or remediating brownfields – is a positive step.

    “Intensification is a major source of support in the growth projections we’re going to see. Growth is not going anywhere,” said Kargbo.

    As a proud Hamiltonian, it is wonderful to see our city become so wanted with respect to real estate. We are able to start many of these families lives off with a solid mortgage, and even better finiancial plan. For more expert mortgage advice, please visit www.hamiltonmortgageexperts.com

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