Monday, November 9, 2020


Greater Hamilton homes are six times more likely to sell for over $2.0 million post COVID vs. pre-COVID (19 sales April 2020 to current vs. 52 sales March 2010 to March 2020+)!   

The pandemic has brought upon unprecedented times across work, life and even real estate. In the beginning, the market halted. Canadians were afraid of the unknown. Uncertainty loomed over health and finances and no one was making a move – literally.

Then our lives adjusted to COVID and some opportunities began to rise to the top. Interest rates hit an all-time low, making financing a home (or a larger one) more accessible than ever. In addition to this, many people began working from home temporarily and some were given sightline to a more permanent work from home scenario (even when things return ‘back to normal’).

As such, work and life has become increasingly borderless. People are no longer tethered by location. They do not need to nest closer to where the jobs are and where the real estate prices are conjunctly higher. They are freer than ever (like an episode of House Hunters International) to live where they choose.

In addition to the opportunity to gain more bang for their housing buck, house hunters have embarked on searches for more space, more soul  and more solitude. There has been an increasing desire to escape busy downtown cores and relocate closer to green space for a recalibrated life.

Quite simply, home has become more important than ever. People are uprooting and planting their selves where they have always envisioned their selves to be, but could not make it work before.

No more sitting on the sidelines. No more tire kickers. People are moving within their own city, and east-enders are coming to #HamOnt in droves. In fact, the Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas and Flamborough markets are all on fire, each reporting more sales than ever and prices reaching historic highs.  Like serious highs. The big bricks are selling and it seems like $2.1 million is the new $1.1 million these days.

In fact, in the past 10 years (prior to March 2020), Hamilton proper only had three (3x) $2.0 million+ sales recorded. Since April 2020 the city has already racked up one (1x) $2.0 million+ sale (125 Amelia Street). To put that in perspective, that’s one in 7 months vs. only 3 in 10 years! INDEX 571*

*Based on average monthly sales April 2020 to current vs. March 2010 to March 2020+


If you add Dundas into the mix…

There were only five (5x) $2.0 million+ sales recorded in the 10 years prior to COVID. Since April 2020 there have been two (2x) $2.0 million+ property sales. INDEX 686.

If you add Ancaster into the mix…

There were only forty-three (43x) $2.0 million+ sales recorded in the 10 years prior to COVID. Since April 2020 there have been ten (10x) $2.0 million+ property sales. INDEX 399.

If you add Flamborough & Greensville into the mix…

There were only fifty-two (52x) $2.0 million+ sales recorded in the 10 years prior to COVID. Since April 2020 there have been nineteen (19x) $2.0 million+ property sales. INDEX 626.

+Source: The Woolcott Team, RE/MAX Escarpment Realty.


Local realtors, Doug Folsetter and Tricia Taffs, of Folsetter Taffs and Associates, agree the floodgates have opened dramatically. Historically there has been price resistance in the $1.0 to $2.0 million range, but once there are a few sales over the next mark, buyer confidence sets in.

"With lovely, but more common houses in southwest Hamilton selling over $1.0 million, and small bungalows in Burlington in the low to mid $1.0 million range, it's no wonder people see $2.0 million worth of value in large, unique, and historically significant homes in Hamilton."

And now the ‘brick show’…

125 Amelia Street, Hamilton, circa 1957

2,902 square feet – sold for $2.2 million!

Before : 2017

This marvelous mid-century modern sold for $50,000 under asking, but even so, I’m pretty sure her sale price of $2.2 million is one of the highest recorded in the Kirkendall neighbourhood. People always go gaga for MCM and this one was especially coveted given she was designed in 1957 by renowned Toronto architect Jerome Markson and sympathetically restored by the sellers (see before pictures offset below - sold late 2017 for $1.250 million).

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Before: 2017

Was listed and SOLD by Drew Woolcott of RE/MAX Escarpment Woolcott Realty Inc.

Expired listing details HERE                                                                     

Photos and video by Shlomi Amiga/Beaver Dam Studio



24 Inglewood Drive, Hamilton, circa 1917

3,344 square feet – sold for $1.750 million!

This Craftsman Tudor took a while to hit her stride, but her fetching price of one and three quarters of a million was well worth the wait. Sure, it was less than the close to $1.9 million they originally hoped to achieve, but at the end of the day $1.750 million is one of the higher transactions for the area, setting the bar high for comparable homes in Durand. 

Also, a nice return on the sellers’ investment given she was last listed and sold in the seven hundred thousands, 9 years ago!

Was listed and SOLD with Tammy Phinney of the Cormack Phinney Group:

Expired listing details HERE  

Photos and video by Tom Vogel,



31 Sydenham Street, Dundas, circa 1869

Square footage unknown – SOLD privately for $2.075 million!

Photo: Dundas Museum & Archives, circa 1896. Looks very similar today! Information from the Dundas Museum and Archives HERE

I discovered recently through local conversation (word gets around quickly in Dundas, population 24,000) that this English Italianate knockout, with elements of the Second Empire, Classical Revival, and Georgian styles, sold privately.

I was shocked at the $2,075,000 price tag (but also relieved because out of my budget)! Don’t get me wrong, this triple brick, head-turning, beauty is priceless (with her etched glass vestibule, double car garage and in-ground pool), but the prices in the greater Hamilton area are soaring to incredible, and many would argue, unobtainable heights. 

Table stakes are close to $1.0 million these days and that used to afford a pretty dreamy dream.

Local broker, Colette Cooper of Royal LePage State Realty, has been witness to the pros and cons of this inflating market. She's been working with GTA buyers who could comfortably afford $1.0 to $1.2 million previously, but are now extending their character search further outward into markets like Stratford and Cambridge where similar properties can be purchased for $200,000 less, and without the stress and disappointment of competition.


254 Bay Street South, Hamilton, circa 1890s

3,384 square feet* – offered at $2.1 million

*Plus unfinished attic in main house, 2-bedroom cottage and coach house.

Gosh damn I fell hard for this Queen Anne. My jaw literally dropped when I saw she was on the market and so did over 10,000 people who were reached by my original teaser post, generating over 200 reactions, 76 comments and 42 shares.

This exceptional property has had only four owners in its nearly 125-year history. Originally known as “Maple Lawn”, the home was constructed in the grandest manner with many of the original details intact: coffered oak paneling in the vestibule, original (converted) gas chandeliers, nine-foot solid oak pocket doors, ten-foot ceilings, plaster ceiling medallions, crown mouldings & four fireplaces.

The original grand oak staircase features a Ponce de Leon torchiere on the newel post, a 6-ft stained-glass window on the landing. The property also features an adjoining 2-bedroom cottage (with kitchen, living room and 4-piece bath), plus a heated and plumbed (2-piece bath) coach house with huge loft boasting original timber floors.

Translates to, "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put any confidence in man." 

Listing with Tom Fleming of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd:

IG Video HERE 

Photos and video by Tom Vogel,


 7 St James Place, Hamilton, circa 1931

4,206 square feet – offered at $2.1 million

Not apples to apples to mid-century modern, but definitely more bang for your buck than 125 Amelia given the living space and even usable lot size with in ground pool. Also, although not as surrounded by nature, I’d argue the location is just as good, if not better than Amelia St. That said, Amelia does offer better school options outside of private and French immersion.


Check out this vintage Westinghouse flyer with 7 St. James Place (previously court) pictured as the second house in!


Listing with Drew Woolcott of RE/MAX Escarpment Woolcott Realty Inc.

Photos and video by Shlomi Amiga/Beaver Dam Studio


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