From City to Near the Country - 3 Reasons Why the Urban Sprawl Is Rising

From City to Near the Country - 3 Reasons Why the Urban Sprawl Is Rising

Thursday Feb 25th, 2021


According to StatCan, metropolitan areas, Montreal(-24,880) & Toronto (-50,375) have seen record-high population losses to their neighbouring suburbs and exurbs regions between 01 Jul 2019 - 01 Jul 2020 due to population exchange. 


Change in detached and semi-detached house sales in the GTA from April to December of 2019 vs. April to December of 2020. Image via Zoocasa.

Change in detached and semi-detached house sales in the GTA from April to December of 2019 vs. April to December of 2020. Image via Zoocasa.


This urban sprawl is causing the real estate market of the outside metro and rural destinations to have a bigger demand for listings. To give you an idea of these preferred smaller cities and towns, U-haul has even listed the top 20 cities where people are moving to after leaving the major cities. If you are thinking of moving out of the city but needs some realistic budget and numbers you can read more on Should I stay or should I go: The real costs of moving out of the city




But WHY are urbanites moving to the suburbs and exurbs? Below are the top 3 reasons.



             Personal health and safety

A bigger population equals a higher risk of COVID-19 exposures. Major cities tend to have more people in a square area and social distancing can be more challenging. City dwellers are also used to keeping distance and wanting to have more safe space to enjoy outside their usually small living area space in a city. 


City people are now more open about giving up some conveniences for bigger spaces and small-town vibes. Not to mention- being near nature and parks is probably a welcome therapeutic break from all the lockdowns. 




Working remotely in the foreseeable future

Many companies are already considering permanent working from home operations situations for most of their employees. This allows urbanites to consider wider options of towns and cities outside the metro without having to worry about the 1-2 or more hours of commuting for work. 


The workforce has also been pressing on more work-life balance as forefront positives in their cultures. Younger adults are finding this type of work culture more appealing than a bigger paycheque. Working remotely has made it possible to be around the home to be with family and be able to be more productive in their professional life. 


  Unrelenting higher housing costs in urbanized areas

A good infographic from BlogTo can visually show which outside towns and cities are getting the influx of the population exchange from the metro exodus trends. The average residential pricing in General Toronto is around C$975K compare that to the Northerhumberland Hills region of just about C$625K in Jan 2021 according to the Canadian Real Estate Association statistics. 


Naturally, homeowners would like more bang in their buck and would be inclined to look outside the city lines for bigger properties with lesser price tags attached to them. 


This trend of the population wanting to disperse into smaller cities and towns is going to continue and has different side effects on both the home buyers and sellers. Although urban average pricing remains higher than ever before, a surge of prices can now be expected outside the major metropolitans. This means sellers can get a higher price for their listing even in exurbs and buyers can have more options in finding their forever homes. 


Even in Northumberland, the President of the Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS® Erin Browns has said the low supply but high demand can result in strong price growth in the real estate market of the region. 


If you need more professional real estate advice on moving out of the city into the growing small towns and cities - talk with JoAnn Visaretis for your questions and real estate needs. 

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