TORONTO -- The Canadian real estate market was at a standstill during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now due to pent-up demand, lack of supply and historically low interest rates prices continue to rise.

A real estate survey by Remax Reality predicts that Canadian housing prices will rise 4.6 per cent this year. In Ontario, it's expected to increase by 5 per cent.

The price for condominiums is flat and sales are down. Cam Forbes with Remax says what buyers really want and are willing to pay for are detached homes with more space.

“People are looking for a little more yard, a little more size for a home office and more room where they can be outside to do recreational activities in a safe way," Forbes said.

Now that more people are working from home and may be for the foreseeable future, it allows buyers the opportunity to live outside the city.

The survey found that 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in urban centres and instead would like to relocate to the suburbs or small towns.

“Now people have a little more flexibility and we've see some real strength in markets outside Toronto particularly like the Newmarket and Durham areas," Forbes said.

The survey also found that 48 per cent want to live closer to green spaces and the same number want to live in a community near hospitals and clinics.

As well, 33 per cent want more square footage and more space while 44 per cent want more outdoor space with a balcony or pool.

There is concern a second wave of COVID-19 could cause another lockdown, which is also driving up the price of cottage and recreational properties.

“There is incredibly strong demand in the Muskoka area here in Ontario,” Forbes added. “Prices are up substantially about 20 per cent year over year in price gains for recreational properties."

The survey found Toronto will continue to be a sellers’ market due to a low listing inventory and high demand.

With so few properties on the market it's creating bidding wars, which is also causing prices to go higher with agents saying most homes are now sold for the full price or over asking.