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How week four looks for 2021 real estate

Lindsay Smith

By Lindsay Smith/Columnist

Let’s ponder a few predictions:

Oshawa Detached home average: $931,000

Oshawa Semi-Detached average: $703,700

Oshawa Attached average: $686,400

When you look these numbers over, are you shocked? Surprised? Or are you smiling with a “thumbs up” gesture?

To put these numbers into perspective, the average detached home at the end of 2019 was $601,000 and a year later, December 2020, we ended with an increase to $723,700. Here we are in the fourth week of 2021 and the average detached home has jumped up again to a “never seen before” high of $816,875. That is an increase of 14 per cent in 25 days! If you are a buyer currently, you understand the saying “time is not your friend.” Buyers simply cannot out-save the increasing prices.

The above predictions are taking the increases we have seen for the first 25 days of 2021, (plus 14 per cent for detached, plus 9 per cent for semi-detached, and plus 4 per cent for attached homes) and projecting that the homes will increase by the same amount over the next 11 months (by years end). Is this an optimistic projection, or am I delusional?

The first article I wrote for this year for The Oshawa Express covered how the values have increased over the past year. At that time, I made no predictions, however, I feel that the above prices are likely outcomes. What we are currently seeing is a real estate market that is completely out of balance. At the beginning of January 2019, we had 155 detached homes for sale in Oshawa; we started 2021 with 28. This is the cause of the balance being off kilter.

I began showings on a newly listed home this past Thursday and have reduced the showing times to half-hour intervals due to the high volumes of showing requests. Currently, after four days of marketing there have been 62 buyer showings on the home. (As crazy as it sounds, the sellers have spent the past four nights in a hotel.) This seems to be a pattern most homes are experiencing that are listed for sale in Oshawa and are realistically priced.

Where are the buyers coming from? Some buyers are coming in from Toronto, others from inside Durham Region. We are seeing the trend of Toronto buyers leaving their condos, opting for larger homes in Oshawa, be they detached, semi-detached or townhomes. We are also experiencing local buyers who own smaller homes, and are taking advantage of the run up in values, moving to larger homes with more to offer for their families.

The pandemic we are all dealing with is playing havoc on many levels. For real estate, it is causing people to reconsider where they live, and the suburbs are becoming attractive options. I know, having spoken with a realtor friend in the St. Catharines area that she is experiencing the same migration of buyers leaving Toronto and heading to her suburban town. Smaller towns offer stability, less crime, a slower pace, and much lower home prices.

I have seen migration of buyers move east and then west over my career. When I have seen massive shifting of people from one area to another, I have seen a number of those people decide to move back to where they started their journey. There is a reason why Toronto has been a magnet for buyers – nightlife, shopping, dining, and entertainment. I will be fascinated to see how many decide to move west once life returns to a “new” normal. Hopefully our inventory of homes for sale will increase long before we see for sale signs on seller’s lawns longing for the bright lights of Toronto.

If you have any questions about the above information, or if you can see a real estate emergency on the horizon, I can be reached at

Lindsay Smith

Keller-Williams Energy Brokerage