Situated in the southwestern area of Ontario at the confluence of the Thames River, London is a unique destination that offers cultural diversity, a strong economy, and a sense of community with a bustling city vibe. London has a diverse population of 383,000, with 82% of the population being of European descent. The climate in London is classed as humid continental, but it is also influenced by the nearby Great Lakes. Due to elevation changes, and winds from the lake, the climate can be different in certain areas of the city and the seasons are generally very distinctive. Winters tend to be cold, windy and snowy, and summers are hot and humid, often reaching the high 20s.
London is the largest municipality in the southwest area and is a hub for medical research, education, manufacturing and information technology. The economy is supported by the University of Western Ontario, which conducts much of the city’s life-sciences and biotechnology research and provides a large number of jobs. The city is also a centre for arts and culture, and hosts a number of festivals and art exhibits throughout the year.
London offers a very high quality of life, with a number of parks and urban areas, tourist attractions, many museums, galleries and theatres. It’s also home to various sports teams and stadiums. The city has invested a large amount of money into regenerating its urban areas and now ranks among the best places to live in Canada in terms of liveability, cost of living, recreational activities and real estate prices.
Popular areas in London include: Brockley, Medway, Talbot, Fox Hollow, Jackson, Hyde Park and Oakridge.
London’s real estate market has experienced an uplift in the last couple of years and is a very attractive market especially for first-time buyers and people moving away from big cities like Toronto. It’s very affordable in relation to other areas of Ontario and Canada’s more expensive markets like Vancouver, but it offers a very desirable quality of life, a healthy economy, and a stable property market.
The average price for a single-detached home in Ontario is around $300,000, which has increased in recent years largely as a result of Toronto’s hot property market which is impacting the surrounding areas, including London-St. Thomas. Many people are taking advantage of the conditions in Toronto and selling their properties for above-average prices, and investing in areas such as London which offer much more value for money, affordability, and are around a 2-hour drive from Toronto.
London is a desirable place to retire, and buyers in the Greater Toronto Area are seeing it as an attractive area to invest in due to its affordability, strong manufacturing industry and employment levels, and confidence in the local economy. The benchmark condo price is around $201,000, and there is a high level of inventory in the condo market making it favourable for millennials and first-time buyers looking to purchase a home that’s centrally located.
The market in London has shifted from being balanced to now being more in favour of sellers, largely due to a rising demand for real estate. Two-storey, detached, single-family homes are the most popular property type, and range between $250,000-$350,000, which is very affordable relative to other areas of Ontario. London is also experiencing a lot of new home construction, due to a decline in vacancy and higher demand. Many new builds are intended for rental use and to meet London’s growing population.
London’s luxury real estate market is thriving, and homes valued at over $500,000 generally fall into the luxury/high-end category. More luxury homes have been sold in the last couple of years, which is thought to be due to buyers selling their properties in Toronto and, with more cash in the bank, coming to London for a larger, luxury property and better value for money.
Toronto has recently overtaken Vancouver as the leader in luxury real estate, so people are moving away from the big city and towards places like Hamilton and London. Luxury sales have also typically been driven by move-up buyers, as well as by a small number of foreign buyers who are moving out of BC’s luxury market where the Foreign Buyer Tax has recently been introduced.