NORTH BAY -- The real estate market in North Bay is on the rise again. 

This is partly due to more families from larger metropolitan cities choosing to settle down in the north in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to North Bay Mayor Al McDonald and the city's real estate board.

North Bay Real Estate Board President Rob Jamieson said over recent months, there has been a strong interest for houses, but the demand is outpacing the supply.

"We're actually really centred here in a good location here and we have a lot to offer," said Jamieson. "We have four-season recreational, a regional health centre and we have a good quality of life."

Over the past week, Mayor Al McDonald has boasting on social media, promoting the positives of living in North Bay compared to a bigger city.

"In the GTA, they're commuting two hours every day. Here, it takes 10 minutes. It really is a good value proposition for people to move to our community," said McDonald.

Jamieson thinks the low COVID-19 numbers in the region are attractive to potential buyers and with flexibility allowing people to work from home, many are now looking to escape costly life in big cities.

"We have a lot to offer here in North Bay," Jamieson said. "People have always seen that. With COVID-19, it's propelled it."

The average price of a home in the area was $322,000 in July, which is a fraction of the $1.02 million average price tag of a house in Toronto.

There were over 200 new residential properties listed in North Bay in July.

McDonald said many of the families he's spoken to that are planning to move are coming from Ottawa or Toronto. 

"There's a family of four that just contacted me on Friday saying they're moving and they purchased a house," McDonald said.

The mayor is hoping that through his campaign to promote North Bay, he'll see more new arrivals and more sold signs in front of homes around the city.