The Ontario Housing Market Is Driving People To Move To Smaller Towns & Here's Where

The move is driving up house prices in these areas. 📈

A RE/MAX sale pending sign in front of a home. Right: Woodstock, Ontario.
Editorial Assistant

A RE/MAX sale pending sign in front of a home. Right: Woodstock, Ontario.

With the GTA driving up the national average price of homes across the country, it's no wonder that people are scrambling to move to smaller towns in Ontario to be near some more greenery and avoid these hefty prices.

According to a report by RE/MAX posted on April 13, the real estate market in the small Ontario towns that they surveyed has a high demand but not enough houses on the market.

"Throughout the pandemic, local RE/MAX brokers have reported an influx of out-of-town buyers seeking affordable housing, larger living spaces and a close-knit community feel," the report noted.

The report measured spots across Canada with less than 440,000 residents and those that had some of the "highest population growth rates" in 2021. Some of the top places in Ontario that are expected to see a hike in average home prices are these towns:

  • Carleton Place (15%)
  • Arnprior (15%)
  • Oshawa (15%)
  • Southern Georgian Bay Area (9%)
  • Woodstock (8%)
  • Stratford (8%)
  • Grand Bend (7.5%)
  • Centre Wellington (2%)

"Many of these regions, including Oshawa, Carleton Place, and Arnprior, already have the infrastructure and public transportation in place, offering residents an easy commute to work in the city," the report reads.

Population growth rates have especially had an impact on the housing market, according to the report. Spots like Carleton Place, which was named the town with the fastest demographic growth in Canada for four consecutive years, are expected to see some of the highest average sales prices through the rest of this year.

"Residential prices in these communities have continued to rise as a result of low inventory and growing demand," the report reads.

Some people are concerned about the move

Although homebuyers may be finding better options for housing in smaller towns, the report noted that not everyone is happy with the move.

"57 percent of residents in small Canadian real estate markets voicing concern that the distinct liveability qualities of their town ─ its charm ─ may be eroded as a result of rising demand from move-over buyers," it stated.

Another 43% of residents expressed in the report that they were anxious about being "priced out of their community."

Sophie Chong
Editorial Assistant
Sophie Chong was an editorial assistant for Narcity Media and is based in Toronto, Ontario.