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Aug. 14, 2020 | Friday
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Real estate sales booming again in NOTL
Real estate sales are booming in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Jessica Maxwell)

After one of the toughest springs in recent memory, the Niagara-on-the-Lake real estate market caught fire in June, as the number of sales and new listings all shot up.

After a lacklustre performance in April when only eight properties sold in NOTL amid the pandemic, the market showed signs of a rebound in May with 25 sales.

Then came June, with 45 sales, 107 new property listings and a home price index showing the average price in NOTL was $800,200, according to statistics compiled by the Niagara Association of Realtors.

While the COVID-19 pandemic ground the market to a near-standstill this spring, some of the lessons learned from the lockdown are fuelling the resurgence, realtors say. Many buyers are looking to move to smaller centres and many are content to work from home a lot more.

"Sales activity during the month of June and these first two weeks of July has certainly made up for time and sales lost during the COVID-19 spring closure," said Sally Miller, a realtor with the Miller Group and Royal LePage NRC Realty in NOTL.

"There is an absolute desire to get the heck out of big city centres and to move to a less dense area, preferably with a property that affords a large lot for vegetable gardens and a home that can accommodate office space," she said.

"Many executives have been given the green light from their corporations to transition for future and perhaps permanent telecommuting from their homes," Miller said. "Many inns and large estate properties throughout Niagara are seeing serious demand because of this new trend."

Nancy Bailey, a broker with Engel & Voelkers, sees similar trends. "I have sold several homes in the past three weeks in less than a few days. People are looking at relocating to NOTL because 'space is the new luxury' and we have beautiful homes in NOTL that offer space, pools and a short walk to Lake Ontario."

"My association with the Engel & Voelkers Oakville office while selling only Niagara has been amazing. It is one of our largest feeder markets to NOTL.  Companies now see that their employees are more productive by working at home and not experiencing the traffic of commuting, so this opens up a whole new world for buyers."

As well, there has been a huge upswing in the luxury market in NOTL with strong demand for properties over $1 million, said Michelle Reynolds, of Reynolds  Regier Homes and a broker with Royal LePage NRC.

"In the last 60 days, we had 27 homes that sold over the $1 million mark, with the average detached home sale being around $1.2 million. We are noticing that lifestyle and the change in what was the traditional office working environment have been the biggest drivers of this luxury market," she told The Lake Report.

"With technology advancements, people are working more from home and no longer need to be in the city full-time, therefore for the first time people are looking to establish themselves in places they have dreamed of perhaps retiring to in the future," she said.

"Niagara-On-The-Lake has never been so vibrant with families and active retirement."

 

 

 

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