Ontario’s Top 10 Cities to Buy Real Estate In

Real estate expert Don R. Campbell and the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) have released the top ten Ontario towns for real estate investors (2009-2014). Compiled from careful research conducted by REIN, the top towns for real estate investment are:

1. Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge – The communities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, known collectively as Canada’s Technology Triangle, are becoming known as a competitive area in which to build high-tech businesses. The area is so strong economically that the Real Estate Investment Network™ in its past research has dubbed it the “Economic Alberta of Ontario”. This continues to prove true as the region was once again selected as the number-one investment town in Ontario. Within a 24 hours drive, the Technology Triangle has access to more than 60% of Canada’s population and 40% of the U.S. population. The reinvention of the region’s economy in the last few years has lead to investment in the information technology sector, a venture which has protected the Triangle from the steep increase in job losses experienced in many other Ontario communities. A commitment to infrastructure improvements and transportation projects will also help drive the economy and the real estate market in this area.

2. Hamilton – Breaking through its past, Hamilton jumps up with a bright future Hamilton is poised to outperform most the province as it breaks through its past reputation and grabs a hold of the future. The continuing diversification of the City’s economy coupled with the increase in accessibility provided by the transportation improvements provides a strong economic base from which to work. Hamilton’s economy, in just a few short years will be unrecognizable when compared to the past decades. This renewal will help drive demand for real estate (rentals as well as ownership) in the City, especially in older neighborhoods going through transition.

3. Simcoe Shores: Barrie – Orillia – 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.

4. 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.

5. Whitby, Pickering & Ajax -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.

6. 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.

7. Brantford – 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.

8. Toronto – Scarborough has the best opportunities in the City of Toronto. Toronto continues to be a major economic engine for Canada, as it continues to be the financial and head office capital of the country. This, combined with a strong growth of immigration to the city will help to provide an ongoing source of both rental and ownership demand in the housing market. Some regions of the city will prove to be provincial leaders, while other regions will lag sadly behind. Investors in the Toronto market must focus on areas with future potential, while at the same time ignoring past neighborhood reputations. One breakout region in coming years will be Scarborough. With home prices consistently below other regions of Toronto and a planned Rapid Transit expansion, the region will experience rapid growth.

9. Vaughan – Vaughan will benefit tremendously from increased housing values due to transportation projects. With the largest job growth in all of Canada between 2001 and 2006, the economy of Vaughan is becoming increasingly more diverse. Its extensive transportation network, available land, and the lowest commercial and industrial property taxes in the GTA continue to attract new businesses to the area. The City of Vaughan has become a preferred location for investment, leading the country’s cities in the per capita of building permits issued. Once all the region’s transportation and other infrastructure projects are completed (like the expansion of the TTC Spadina Line and the construction of the Vaughan Corporate Centre), Vaughan will be among the most accessible regions in the Greater Toronto Area; this combined with the fact that the City has the lowest commercial and industrial taxes in the GTA, will drive demand for both residential and commercial/industrial property.

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.