Desired lifestyle continues to be the most important factor in decisions by young couples about where they are going to start their lives together.
While Burlington is a prime destination for those sick of Toronto’s exorbitant prices and concrete jungle, a significant number still choose to dwell in the big city even though they have jobs in the Burlington-Hamilton area.
One obvious reason is that their daily commute by car is against the heavy flow of traffic moving towards Toronto. GO Transit also provides regular service to the Bay Area.
Westbound commuters can be at their jobs in 35 minutes while their eastbound counterparts often are backed up in bumper-to-bumper situations that can take them as much as two hours.
Farther north, on another GO Transit line, some Torontonians are commuting as far as Kitchener and Waterloo to work.
Surveys have revealed that some downtown Toronto residents even do without cars, traveling by foot or using public transportation to get around the city and using the GO train only to travel westward to work. The savings in transportation costs offsets, at least to some degree, the high cost of accommodation.
Others say they would be lost without easy access to museums, theatres, restaurants and cultural attractions that are so plentiful in Toronto.
The availability of a wider variety and higher level of medical care at Toronto hospitals and clinics also has been cited as a positive factor in big city living.
Nevertheless, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported sales were 15.1 per cent higher for November than the same month last year, 23.8 per cent higher than the 10-year average, and were a record for the month of November. It was the fourth month in a row where records for monthly sales have been broken.
“Low inventory and a record number of sales for the month is a recipe for a continued seller’s market,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “With only a little over two months of inventory, and a high sales to new listings ratio, we are continuing in the seller’s market that has persisted in our area .”
The average house price in Burlington is about $550,000, but condos are available in the range of $250,000-$350,000.
An Angus Reid Institute poll last September revealed that 45 per cent of residents 18 to 34 were “seriously” considering leaving the immediate Toronto area due to the high cost of home ownership.
Furthermore, 73 per cent of the millennials who have made the move beyond Toronto said they left to buy more space for an equal or lower price.
New arrivals who purchase accommodation near Burlington’s highly acclaimed waterfront say it gives them a sense of being on vacation 365 days a year. Morning sunrises over Lake Ontario are very attractive.
The Paradigm high-rise condos currently under construction beside Burlington’s Fairview Street GO station will offer residents the opportunity to go directly from their suite to the station via ground level walkways, hop on the GO train and be at their desks in Toronto in an hour. Five towers with a total of more than 900 units are planned.
Imagine jumping out of bed in Burlington in the morning and being at your desk in downtown Toronto in an hour.
GO Transit is also continuing its initiative to bring service every 15 minutes during rush hour. Trains already run every 30 minutes during non-rush hour times.
Written by: Denis Gibbons