It’s a hot housing market, and the Renfrew County Real Estate Board doesn’t think it’s sustainable.

Andrew Brotton, President of the RCREB, says the market has many challenges to face. He says people are attracted to Renfrew County because it’s a great place to relocate, and increased access to internet services means many people can work from home, and so are leaving the cities. Residents from both Ottawa and Toronto have been coming into the area, and the pandemic has enhanced this trend. Brotton doesn’t foresee a slump in the number of people coming in, and the number of potential home buyers will increase over the years.

On the supply side, Brotton sees a large problem. There has been a 75% decrease in listed housing in 2020, compared to 2019. He says the market cannot sustain the number of buyers, driving up the prices. But there is not a lot of supply being built, as building costs have also increased due to the pandemic. Brotton suggests that government incentives for home builders would help supply.

For those who are looking for a home, Brotton suggests contacting a realtor instead of searching online. He advises finding one that you trust, and commit to having them on board. Realtors can react quickly as new listings come on the market, and will keep an eye out to find the right property. Brotton says if you’re looking for a home, allow some time for the right property to come along and have patience.

In the RCREB’s most recent numbers, they say the average home sold for $308,704, a rise of 18.4% since 2019. Over 2,117 homes were sold in 2020.