Hamilton still an investor’s paradise

New numbers are confirming a rapidly growing Ontario city as the hottest hotspot for many investors.

According to CREA, housing prices in the Hamilton area have jumped 16.6 per cent over the past year, the biggest jump in any real estate market in Canada.

In Vancouver, by comparison, prices went up 12.2 per cent while Toronto saw a 10.3 per cent jump.

And it’s not just a case of demand vastly exceeding supply according to some, as the hot market is encouraging homeowners of fixer-uppers to invest in their properties.

Erwin Szeto, a sales representative with Rock Star Brokerage Inc., who specializes in helping property investors in the city, says it’s not just the renovated homes that are appreciating.

“We’re seeing people who are desperate to get into the market, so we’re seeing everything bid up, even if it’s not renovated,” says the agent known around town as “Mr. Hamilton.”

Szeto points to a case on a street where a renovated property was sold for only $10,000 more than an identical home on the same street that hadn’t been touched in 30 years.

Higher bids for homes that need work are caused, Szeto says, by what he calls the “HGTV mentality, where people value having a project that they can finish to their standards.”

Rising prices are stopping investors, however.

“Smart investors aren’t going to sit on their behind and take it,” says Szeto. “My clients were active in August and more of their offers were accepted because fewer people were out looking.”

Based on the affordability and proximity to Toronto, Szeto calls Hamilton one of the best markets for investors.

“If you’re investing in Ontario, I don’t think there’s a better option out there than Hamilton.”

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