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Housing market still affordable, say local agents

First-time home buyers need not fear the Windsor-Essex red-hot real estate market, say local agents.

Despite overall rising prices and bidding wars in sought-after areas, it’s still cheaper to buy than rent, thanks to low interest rates, said Tim Campell, broker at Remax Real Estate.

A five-year fixed mortgage at 2.7 per cent “is free money,” said Campbell. “You can still buy cheaper than renting in Windsor.”

Bob Peters, sales representative at Remo Valente, said Windsor remains one of the most affordable housing markets in Ontario.

“In London, you start to see a spike in prices. Anything on the other side of London is considered the Greater Toronto Area; prices will continue to move up as you get closer to the downtown core in Toronto.”

Peters said utility cost are a bigger barrier to home ownership than prices.

“Utility bills are one of the things that affects affordability,” he said. “You go to the Villages of Riverside where they have electric heat and their utility bills are much higher than mortgage payments, with some as high as $1,000 a month during winter.”

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