Guelph gains for investors

“The top employers in the area include the University of Guelph, Linamar Manufacturing, which manufactures car parts, and the Ontario Ministry of Food Agriculture and Rural Affairs,” Fitzpatrick says. “The city is also known as an agricultural research and industrial hub.”

According to City of Guelph’s Economic Development Office, the agriculture industry alone accounts for 10 per cent of the city’s employment, with a total of 6,500 jobs. The University of Guelph is another top employer and economic contributor. The school boasts 18,000 full-time students, along with 1,000 faculty members.

Getting schooled

The demand for student rentals in Guelph is actually growing as its educational institutions increase enrollment. Those increases aren’t lost on investors, looking to get in on the action. That being said, interested buyers face one burning question: has that demand effectively dried up opportunity?

“Being a university city, the university definitely drives a ton of the rental investment market,” says Basso, himself an active student rental investor. “The student rentals haven’t dried up, but getting a hold of them has become very competitive.”

As the demand for these properties heats up, the investment market begins to become increasingly crowded. This, says Basso, only occurs at certain points during the year.

“Winter can be (frantic), as everyone decides that they want to be a student rental landlord,” he says. “Right now, there have been multiple offers on anything that has student demand for it. The best time to buy a student rental is during the summer or fall period and hold onto it until you can rent it in September.”

Guelph’s diverse residential inventory is certainly investable, but Basso highlights one particular property type as being the best buy for student rental investors.

“A typical four-bedroom townhouse would be one of the best buys,” he advises. “On average, you can rent these out for $500 per room, or $2,000 per month, which also includes utilities.”

This kind of property can potentially generate $923 in monthly cash flow, which is welcome news for investors who specialize in cash-flowing rentals.

Best buys

Despite its smaller size, Guelph still has a diverse inventory of residential properties, including apartment-style condos, single-family homes, townhouses and multi-family properties. As a result, local experts hold different views on which is the market’s best buy.

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