Real estate expert Don R. Campbell and the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) have released the top ten Ontario towns for real estate investors (2008). Compiled from careful research conducted by REIN, the top towns for real estate investment are:
1. Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge – Comprising Canada’s Technology Triangle, the region is quickly becoming known worldwide as a competitive area in which to build a high-tech business. The area is so strong economically that the Real Estate Investment NetworkTM research team has dubbed it the “Economic Alberta of Ontario”.
2. Barrie and Orillia (tie) – Barrie is an attractive community for people seeking the nearness and vitality of Toronto but with a slower pace of life. Orillia, with a rising population and expansion of post-secondary institutions, has tremendous opportunities for investors to provide student housing.
3. Whitby, Ajax & Pickering -The ripple outward from the GTA toward this region has been picking up steam over the previous decade. However, until quite recently much of this demand increase has been from commuters wishing to locate in a lower housing-cost region of the GTA. Now, the area is attracting an increasingly diverse list of local employers.
4. Markham – Markham is known as the high-tech capital of Canada, with over 900 advanced technology and life science companies. This influx has led to the area outperforming many other areas of the province, in terms of both economy and real estate.
5. Hamilton and Brantford (tie) – Hamilton is transforming itself into a more diversified economy. A revitalization of key areas, a soon-to-be-opened new transportation route, and a stock of older, quality homes, will help keep Hamilton on the top ten list for many years to come. Brantford is strategically located and offers affordable housing. The multiple satellite secondary education campuses already located in the city provide a vibrant and younger population base.
6. Brampton – The city has a diverse and growing economy that, if anything, is growing a little faster than the infrastructure. Revitalization and densification of existing older areas will be a real key to Brampton living up to its ultimate potential.
7. Ottawa – Higher home-ownership costs, immigration and youth employment lifted rental demand in Ottawa. It is forecast that the city will pass from a very hot resale market with solid price augmentation to a more balanced market that will be more sustainable in the long-term.
8. Toronto – Taken as a whole, Toronto’s real estate market will under-perform many of the surrounding regions, yet key neighbourhoods will have breakout years. Older condo units and ground oriented units in the areas such as Bathurst Manor, Armour Heights, and The Junction will do well in both average price increase percentage and potential cash flow. New high-rise condos located downtown and along the waterfront will still see demand. Other great transition areas include the Danforth, Palmerston-Little Italy, Woodbine, Gerrard and Jones.
9. Oshawa – The re-development of the downtown and many other developments about to be announced for the area will put the spotlight on a previously underperforming area of the city.
10. Whitchurch-Stouffville – This continues to be a town with tremendous potential. With low vacancy rates, no substantial increase in the number of rental units planned for the future, and a rising demand for the “country in the city” lifestyle, the town’s biggest problem will be dealing with its growth.
Don R. Campbell is a Canadian-based real estate investor, author and consultant. He is the author of 51 Success Stories from Canadian Real Estate Investors, co-author of 97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate Investors, and President of Canada’s Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), whose membership exceeds 1,400 successful Canadian investors.