The Ontario Real Estate Association is predicting a small town comeback due to COVID.
They say that a trend of people moving from the cities to rural Ontario will see a boom in local economies. CEO of the Association Tim Hudak says this is because of a few driving factors. Things like cheaper houses, more spacious yards and homes, plus the push to work from home, will all lead people to move into the countryside. However, Hudak says there needs to be more investment in broadband and the creation of opportunity zones for the influx of homeowners to be a positive one. Access to natural gas is also one of the places in need of improvement
Hudak says that not only should the supply of housing be increased, but government programs also need to be put in place to allow people to put a downpayment on their first homes. A project in Hastings County does just this, but Hudak wants to province to back similar programs. He also suggests that loans can be paid back only when people sell their homes. Hudak says money needs to be made available to municipalities for rural infrastructure, as well as provincial money for schools and hospitals. He says after years of neglect, rural communities have a chance to bounce back.
To read the full OREA report, click here.