It’s being billed as Silicon Valley of the North and for good reason. Due to many factors, including an influx of technology companies, Waterloo is one housing market that is ripe for the investor picking, according to Karl Innanen, managing director at Colliers International.
“Waterloo has become recognized as a diverse market – it has universities, it’s home to some of the largest insurance companies, its known for its technology and manufacturing sectors,” Innanen told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “It’s not a one-horse town so it allows for great diversity in terms of investment options.”
It’s become a hot and, indeed, safe market for investors because of the large transactions and liquidity that has poured in over the past few years, according to Innanen.
The Waterloo Region is also unique in that it comprises three different cities that each offer their own investment options.
Waterloo offers opportunities for office investment; Cambridge is known for its industrial offersings; and Kitchener is home to many urban office opportunities.
And there are plenty of residential opportunities throughout the region for investors as well.
“Residential is front-and-centre in the Waterloo Region; there are 3,200 new homes built every year … and the demand is there (for rentals),” Innanen said. “There are a lot of condos being built; 2011 was the first time there were more apartments built than there were single-family homes.”
Innanen argues the Waterloo region is a better option for investors than the GTA.
“A lot of people are pushed out of the GTA because of product availability; Waterloo also offers higher returns (than the GTA),” he said. “You will get a 1% higher cap rate in the Waterloo region than the GTA for apartments. And apartments offer the lowest cap rates in the region.”
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Forget the GTA: This one booming market could be the next big thing, according to one veteran.