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Rising Guelph real estate prices causing frustration for homebuyers

A look at current home sale trends in Guelph by price bracket
GUE Spotlight_Ryan Waller_Aug title image

The Guelph real estate market just had its best July ever in almost every metric measurable: number of homes sold, total dollars sold, average price and cost per square foot. At the same time, unemployment is at record levels, the Government of Canada is extending emergency benefits and people are deferring mortgage payments. 

In early August, very low inventories meant that the entire housing stock in Guelph could be wiped out in about 15 days based on prior months sales velocities. 

The result is that as a buyer, depending on your price point, you are likely experiencing the most aggressive competition for a house in Guelph in our City’s history. 

The number of homes sold in Guelph in July has made big gains over July 2019 and it’s possible at this pace that the Guelph housing market could actually be ahead of 2019 by the end of August. The total dollars spent on homes in Guelph has increased by almost 7% from last year and 20% from 2018. Interestingly, the condo market is now starting to gain share as people are reconsidering buying a condo in Guelph as an alternative to freehold homes.

Bidding wars, the situation where buyers are competing for the purchase of a home with other potential buyers are back, with 7 out of 10 homes selling over the original asking price in the past few weeks. But not all price brackets are facing the same situation. 

Here’s a quick look at current trends by price brackets in Guelph housing:

$1 million +

Homes in the $1 million-plus market have increased slightly from pre-COVID as Guelph is experiencing an out of town surge. At any given time, there are about 20 homes for sale in this bracket. The majority of homes sold here are south of Stone Rd. in areas such as Kortright East and West. Because there are fewer buyers in this bracket, you can generally negotiate a bit more, with the average home selling at 99.2% of the asking price in 2020.

$750,000 - $1 million

At 14% of sales, the $750K - $1 million home bracket in Guelph right now is consistent. Homes of all ages, styles and locations can be found in this bracket and on average are selling at 2% above the asking. Homes in the downtown core are sometimes selling 10% or more over asking due to lack of supply, while south Guelph is averaging just under asking due to increased supply. The condo segment in this price range has increased by 400% vs 2019.

$600,000 - $750,000

For buyers in the range of $600,000- $750,000, options start to open up. While 90% of the sales are freehold homes, 10% are now made up in condo sales. Of the 361 sales this year, only a quarter of these sold over the original asking price. If you’re considering a home in this price bracket, look to areas such as Kortright East, The Ward and Riverside Park for some great options.

$500,000 - $600,000

If you own a home in Guelph in the price bracket of $500,000- $600,000 and were contemplating selling, now may be the time, much to buyers' dismay. With 28% of the houses sold and currently has the lowest inventory available this year, it’s not unusual now to see up to 10 offers on a house. This segment has also noticed a huge shift from freehold ownership to condo ownership, with 20% of sales in this range now from condos (from 10% in 2019)

$400,000 or less

Finding a detached home in the $400K or less price bracket in Guelph is becoming extremely difficult to do- there have only been 6 sales under $400K in 2020 versus 28 in the same period last year. In fact, 97% of sales done under the $400K mark in 2020 are now condo sales in Guelph. 

If you're looking for a Guelph Realtor, reach out to Beth and Ryan Waller with Home Group Realty. You can find them at

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Source: Matrix data 2018-2020, GDAR identified neighbourhood areas, excluding those with less than $5 million in residential sales YTD 2020. Sales are dollar volume and unit volume.