Ontario's next investment hotspots

As declining oil prices threaten the real estate markets out west, experts are predicting a positive impact on the Ontario market – but which areas should investors be looking into?

Barrie has experienced significant growth with the re-introduction of the GO Train service,” said Jules Mckenzie, a real estate investor with properties in the area.

“There are also a lot of small employers that have cropped up. We’re seeing significant economic growth.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s latest figures show year-over-year increases in both price and new listings in Barrie and the surrounding area.

The average year-over-year price grew nearly 20 per cent, from $289,201 in December 2013 to $346,584 in December 2014, while new listings were up in that period as well, from 206 to 252, one of the largest increases in the province.

As Barrie attracts more employers, it is also developing a hip downtown and subsequently attracting Generation Y. Mckenzie added: “That has impacted prices, not just of purchasing an investment property in downtown Barrie, but also impacted how much a landlord can charge for rent.”

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Orillia, the prices are still pretty good for investors. “You can charge a significant amount of rent to cover your expenses and have some good, positive cash flow,” said Mckenzie.

Another residential investor, Mark Weidenborner, is also looking into the Barrie and Orillia market right now, moving away from his typical investing ground east of Toronto.

“A good lesson for investors is to look carefully at location,” he added. “Your local area may not be the best place to invest. West of Toronto – there is a lot more there.”

Are you looking to find out more about a specific Canadian city or neighbourhood?

CREW's new Investment Hot Spot tool, which you can access here, offers comprehensive neighbourhood profiles detailing house and unit medians, capital growth, demographics and much more.

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