A new decade is upon us, so what better time to look ahead, start planning AND taking action. Stop talking about investing and actually start doing. Here is our list of the best places to invest in real estate in Ontario 2020.
Investing in real estate continues to be our preferred approach to gain assets and to protect and provide for our future. Because we invest long-term, we know it's important to look at what is happening now and what impact the trends we're seeing today will have 20 years from now. This is an important strategy we help investors use when trying to find where to purchase their next investment property.
For some, proximity will continue to be the main factor when looking to buy a property. Is the home close to them, making the rental easier and more convenient to manage and keep an eye on things?
Others will focus on the price tag. Side note: a budget is important, but more importantly, the numbers have to work for you. Different communities will have very different costs BUT can also have very different rental rates. Always do your homework before buying to make sure the possible income from rent makes sense and can cover the expenses. Both inexpensive and high price tagged homes can be good investments if the numbers line up.
Each year, there are factors we keep a lookout for when it comes to our community watch list. Where are new businesses moving in? Is a town seeing higher employment rates? Is a town’s population starting to grow? Are there new infrastructure projects planned/underway, and what will their impact be on the growth of the community? These are just some of the things we consider before we buy.
For 2020, 8 key areas jumped out to us as places of interest. Here are our picks for Best Place to Invest In Real Estate in Ontario 2020.
Ontario’s capital is the centre of the action, which is why it’s still very much on our radar. While the metropolis is the priciest place to invest on this list, it can still be a great long-term investment. While a strong year over year ROI is great on paper, the key to investing is thinking down the road.
Toronto continues to draw businesses, immigrants, and students every single year. Last year, the University of Toronto alone had over ninety-thousand students. Almost a quarter (20,930) were international students. Across Canada, we’re seeing a huge increase in international students, increasing 18% from last year. With the University of Toronto consistently making the list of best Universities in the world, the city can expect to continue to see more and more students moving into the heart of the city. Toronto is also home to OCAD University, Ryerson University, York University, the University of Guelph-Humber, Centennial College, George Brown College, Huber College, and Seneca College. Many of the students coming to Canada are staying here after graduation, choosing to work and live in the GTA.
Immigration as a whole is a huge asset for the city. Toronto is continuing to see a large percentage of Canada’s immigrants landing and settling in the city for work. These are people who look to rent upon arrival.
Average House Price 2019
Single Detached: $1,144,800
The Durham region is home to Pickering, Whitby, Ajax, and Oshawa. This region east of Toronto is building up as more people from the city are choosing to move east for the suburban lifestyle.
GO’s Lakeshore East line continues to expand with better services for commuters heading into the city. The 401 and the 407 both run through the region making it a convenient location to get where you need to go.
As Toronto continues to build up, it’s naturally building out, and these towns are seeing positive growth from migrants and new businesses who are looking for more affordable real estate near the city.
Average House Price 2019
Nestled in the northwestern end of the GTA is Halton Hills. This growing suburb has doubled since formed in 1974 when Georgetown and Acton amalgamated. Its proximity to Toronto (with regular GO Train access) and small-town charm has made it popular for families. With a population of 61,000 (2016) and growing, Halton Hills is still rather small compared to neighbouring cities. However, it’s showing good signs that it’s ready for a growing population as more and more people look to call Halton Hills home.
One trend we like to see is that Halton Hills as a whole has almost non-existent vacancy rates in recent years. There’s a demand for rentals because there are so few options out there for renters right now.
Another positive note is the list of active development and planned infrastructure projects happening in the new few years.
New townhouse subdivisions, condominiums, office buildings, places of worships. In other words, places for people to live, work, and build a community. These are all good signs of growth.
Schools are being repaired and upgraded. Playgrounds are going in. Water services are scheduled to be upgraded. These may seem small, but they help build a desirable community.
Average House Price 2019: $772,454
For years, investors have been looking at the west end of Hamilton for its proximity to the university and hospitals. The downtown core has had its ups and downs but has been attractive for its growing food and art scene, and the Hamilton Mountain has been a popular option for families. Now East Hamilton is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
The east end is largely residential, making it popular for starter homes and is a diverse immigration hub. With the resurgence of Hamilton’s west end and core, more families are moving east for larger yards, more parks, walking trails, and affordable homes.
Like the downtown core, East Hamilton is seeing new life moving in. As of 2019, Tim Horton’s Field is home to Forge FC, part of the Canadian Premier League. New shops and restaurants are moving in where storefronts sat empty only a couple of years ago. These are all good signs of what’s to come for what has been a somewhat neglected part of one of Canada’s largest cities.
As of November 2019, the new Confederation GO Station is running GO Bus services. The new GO Train service is now scheduled to be up and running for 2021, making now a good time to invest in this area.
Average House Price 2019
Hamilton East: $414,671
Stoney Creek: $553,039
Guelph was ranked #1 on The Bank of Montreal’s list of best cities in Canada for new work opportunities. Unemployment is low and there are jobs to be had in this former farm town.
Many schools are under renovation. The University of Guelph is finishing up an expansion of its Health and Veterinary Science department. Stormwater systems are being repaired; improvements are being made to the snow disposal facilities. These unseen improvements can go unappreciated and unnoticed but they’re important to keeping Guelph a top city to live and work.
Nearby, Kitchener-Waterloo ranked #4 on the BMO’s list, which makes sense with a growing tech industry, universities, and health care all booming in the region. With the Kitchener GO expansion, more people will bound to be moving into the area.
Average House Price 2019: $540,900
London has one of the lowest vacancy rates of any Canadian city.
It’s also home to Western University, Fanshawe College, and several hospitals, which are among the city’s top 10 employers.
London currently has 182 infrastructure projects in the planning or under construction phase. Big things are happening in the city and it’s ready to grow and expand in the coming years. Schools, roads, housing, sewer and water systems, and transit are all seeing upgrades, which will help the city handle a growing population.
Average House Price 2019: $412,208
Windsor has historically been a cheap city at the bottom of Canada, right on the Detroit border. Now, the city is seeing major improvements with large infrastructure projects happening throughout the city. House prices are on the rise, businesses are moving in, unemployment is down, and the population is up. These are all great signs when looking to invest.
In fact, the population in the Windsor area is growing faster than it has in two decades.
Employment is the highest in 18 years.
And vacancy rates are down to 2.6%
These are great signs for a city, and investors.
Windsor may be in a bit of an upward swing, and the rate of growth may slow or even drop, but long-term, things are looking very promising for this southern city.
Average House Price 2019: $329,238
The Niagara region is one of Canada’s largest tourist destinations. Home to Niagara Falls and Canada’s largest wine region, people continue to flock to this stretch of Lake Ontario’s southern shore. BUT Niagara is no longer just a place to visit. More and more people are calling this region home.
Jump in your car and take a drive down the QEW. It won’t take you long to see new developments lining the lakeshore. It’s a trend that’s continuing into Niagara’s small towns and larger cities like St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
Niagara has a rental shortage, and it is only getting worse. Vacancy rates are very low and there are not enough affordable houses for many people in the region.
Niagara is also getting a huge Metrolinx expansion over the next several years. GO services have already started running daily, and will become more frequent in the coming years. (Metrolinx announced its plan for Niagara to see 11 GO Trains daily upon completion of this phase. 6 outbound from Niagara Falls to Union Station, and 5 inbound from Union to the Falls.) A GO Train station is scheduled to open in Grimsby in 2021, and another Train station has been approved for Beamsville in Phase 2 of the expansion (phase 2 is set to start in 2023, but no firm dates are set for the opening of the new stations planned).
Average House Price 2019
St. Catharines: $394,800
Niagara Falls: $390,200
Are you a new investor, or looking to improve your investing strategy? Check out our 10 crucial real estate investing tips for driven investors.
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Want to check our list from last year? Check out the Best Places to Invest In Real Estate In Ontario 2019 here. For an updated list for 2021, read our "Best Places to Invest In Real Estate In Ontario 2021" here.