Comparing Durham Region Real Estate Performance to Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and Northumberland

Comparing Durham Region Real Estate Performance to Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and Northumberland

I get asked about the value of real estate in areas to the north and east of Durham Region on a regular basis. Yes, the Durham market has been very strong in recent years, but how do adjacent districts compare, and which area will do well heading into the future?

This article will look at the performance of MLS residential home sales in Durham Region, Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay), Peterborough and Northumberland (Cobourg, Port Hope, Brighton areas).

Statistics are from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board MLS system.

First, here is a chart showing average sale prices for all home types in each of these regions:

Average sale prices Durham, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes

Next is a chart showing average detached home sale prices.

Detached home prices Durham, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes

Durham Region

The average detached residential home price in Durham was 989,797 in February 2021 and 1,021,551 in February 2024.

Kawartha Lakes

The average detached home price here was about $772,158 in February 2021 and $764,391 in February 2024.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas

In this district, the average price in February 2021 was $671,723, and in 2024 was $698,320.


For Northumberland, the February 2021 average was $684,506, and in February 2024 was $715,353

Comparing the Numbers

Looking at the charts, we can see that all areas showed increases, but the intensity of change is what sets things apart. During the big run-up in early 2022, where all of these markets last peaked, the Durham Region reached 1,380,935, while the others reached figures just below 1,000,000.

Why the big difference in prices for Durham Region?

What makes Durham Region's results so much different? There are a number of major factors that contribute to the market demand here versus the outlying areas:

  • Proximity to Toronto - Durham Region is largely within commuting distance to the city. There are more people living in this area and working in the city than can manage the commute from further out.

  • Local Jobs - Many of the manufacturing plants that used to be in outlying areas have either shut down or downsized.  This has had an impact in Durham as well, most notably in the automotive sector, but the other factors have helped to mitigate this impact here.

  • Housing prices in Toronto, York and Peel regions - With an average detached home selling for much higher prices, Durham is still the most affordable region in the GTA, with an average detached home price of about $1,020,000.  (All figures from February 2024 TRREB MLS stats)

  • Immigration to the GTA - Hundreds of thousands of new immigrants come into the GTA each year. Most of these people are skilled and educated, and are seeking housing. While many may start out with a rental or purchase a condo apartment, these people are a driving force in the residential market. Take another look at the housing prices, and this additional demand makes Durham a high-demand alternative to the higher prices in the west and north GTA.  According to Ontario's Ministry of Finance projections, the GTA will be the fastest growing region in the province, accounting for over 68% of the province's population growth (from 6.6 million in 2015 to 9.5 million in 2041).

  • Population growth in Durham Region - According to Durham Region's planning department, the population in the region is currently around 696,000 (2021 Census), and is expected to grow to 1,000,000 by 2041, with the largest increases happening in the municipalities in the south of the region, bordering on Lake Ontario.

What about the future?

While no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, there are some things that will help define the performance of the markets in Durham and outlying areas in the coming years.

Infrastructure improvements  

- Expansion of GO train service east of Oshawa to Courtice and Bowmanville (2025-7)

These will all help increase commuting and traffic capacity both to Durham Region and also to outlying areas.

Pickering and Darlington nuclear plant refurbishments and expansion

These projects will help increase demand for housing with thousands of jobs annually until the end of the decade.


This element is going to affect housing universally.  Improvements are widely anticipated for both employment and the overall economy heading into the summer of 2024 and over the next year plus.

Interest rates

The Bank of Canada and major bank economists have all indicated that rates should head substantially lower through 2025.

Policy changes

More changes like we have seen in the past relating to minimum down payments may influence local demand. Interestingly, it may actually spur demand in areas with lower average prices, as people looking to buy may be forced to look in areas where they can buy with the updated rules.

As you can see, there are many compelling reasons to show that the real estate market will continue to show strength in Durham Region and beyond.  The strength of Durham's market usually also has a spillover effect into the surrounding areas, as price differences drive demand in areas to the near north and east of Durham.






Donna Bowie on Apr 23, 2017 6:36 PM posted:
Great article where do u see prices in Lindsay this year 2017? I have heard that they are on the rise ie a 2 bedroon 2 bathroom single family home is now around 400,000 where last fall they where 313,000.
John Owen on Apr 24, 2017 12:08 PM posted:
Hi Donna - prices are indeed on the rise in Lindsay. In March, the average home price was about 390,000. You may find that your example home is even more expensive as the spring market pans out. Expect the ripple effect to continue to impact prices in Kawartha Lakes. March prices in Oshawa, for example, rose 50.2% over 2016! As prices rise to the south, prices there will follow, albeit at a lower rate.

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