COVID 19 is creating more demand for Cambridge homes, says real estate pro

CAMBRIDGE TIMES

Julia Zayat and her husband Serop found a lovely home in Cambridge, one that has a backyard and a sense of community different from the one they had in the Greater Toronto Area.

Autumn in Cambridge, Ontario (photo: AL.Eyad from Cambridge, Canada via Wikimedica Commons)

The couple lived in a really pricey, small condo in cramped quarters, typical for renters in Scarborough.

”We had ten apartments on our floor, so that was scary in the beginning 1/8of COVID 3/8,” she said. There was no way to go out without running into someone in the elevator.

Except for her husband’s grocery runs, ”we didn’t go out for a month and a half, at all,” Zayat said.

In August, their family moved to a three-bedroom home near downtown to be closer to their sister-in-law and more protected from the threat of the virus.

While the couple had good jobs, they couldn’t buy a condo for the same money in the GTA. They bought a ”not too big” $460,000 home and their kids, seven and three, are a lot happier to gambol past 8 p.m., Zayat said.

”They can make noise as much as they want.”

COVID has really helped Cambridge home markets ”because we were, obviously, always cheaper,” said John Texeira president of the Cambridge Association of REALTORS. The landscape has changed as house sales have increased and condos are staying on the market for longer.

Compared to the same month last year, November residential home sales have gone up 22.64 per cent, CAOR data found. Condos, however are staying on the market an average of 113 days as opposed to 37 year over year for a change of 305.4 per cent.

”Because we’re cheaper, buyers can get a little bit of a bigger place … or a dedicated home office,” or even a bigger play area, said Texeira.

The other key take-away is less stock, he noted.

”Compared to today, versus five years ago, typically a buyer would have five, six homes to choose from.”

This means the average price for residential homes has climbed 27.26 per cent in the region, from $505,063 to $642,791, compared to November last year, CAOR data found.

”Simple supply and demand,” Texeira explained.

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