What does a record breaking 2020 mean for the housing crisis in Kingston?

Despite much of 2020 being spent indoors and under tight restrictions due to the pandemic, people still found ways to complete their real estate transactions and dreams this past year. In fact, 2020 was a record breaking year for completed real estate deals in the Kingston area. 

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the reason for much of this increase is the change in necessity of being close to work (many remote workers won’t need to return to the office) and the fact that many people decided a change of scene or city would be welcome during difficult times. 

The number of real estate deals in 2020 was 2,217 (49 deals, or just over two percent more, than 2019) at an average selling price of $472,945 – that’s an increase of about 13% or $55,174 from 2019. Although these numbers may not seem daunting, with the state of the province right now we’re interested to see what happens in 2021. 

What do these numbers mean for 2021 and the housing crisis  in Kingston?

We need to understand the meaning of “the housing crisis” in Kingston and how these increased numbers relate to these issues. We know there has been a shortage of affordable housing in Kingston now for quite a while. Some residents are taking their fight for housing to City Hall.

Recent events prove that change in the form of housing has been difficult within Kingston, especially when community and neighbourhood organizations become involved. The 2018 rejection of the 16-storey Capitol Condo construction downtown is relatively common knowledge in the area – and in October 2020 it was appealed in front of the Divisional Court of Ontario who agreed the building would be too large to fit within the space and still fit with Kingston’s downtown heritage. 

That same month, the city voted 8-5 in favour of the rezoning of a 12-storey building instead, which still contradicts the current zoning rules of an eight-storey maximum in the downtown area. The construction of Capitol would add over 100 units to the community, again increasing the residential numbers for that year even further. Other buildings, notably those in the Princess and Victoria area, are also popping up quickly and were being sold within 2020, adding to these record numbers. 

In 2019 over 10,00 residential building permits were processed in the Kingston area, which was almost twice as many as the average of the years before. In 2020, this number grew exponentially again. 1,390 new residential units, including single detached, semi-detached, row housing, multi-unit. and secondary suites were processed and approved in the Kingston area. We can definitely see the proof of this huge growth in the housing sector when you drive through the east end, Woodhaven area, and other newer suburban neighbourhoods. 

Will these numbers solve the housing crisis in Kingston?

Many new residents called Kingston home this year, moving from bigger cities like Toronto to get a change in scenery while enjoying the many parts of Kingston we already love. Although we enjoy our new neighbours, this trend doesn’t help the many locals who are struggling to find homes during the crisis. Old houses and new builds were and are being scooped up at record breaking speeds, many far above market price (though those prices are more affordable for Toronto families who sold similar sized homes for twice the price in the Toronto market). 

If the demand for housing that still remains is any proof, we are far from solving any housing crisis in Kingston. For those selling, this is good news as your home will spend far less time on the market. But, for those looking to buy, it will take a strong and dedicated real estate agent tp represent your interests and find you a home for a reasonable price, negotiate, compete among many other potential buyers, and see your transaction through to the end. 

Looking to become a homeowner? Trade up to a new property? Launch into real estate investing? Reach out for a conversation today.

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