The best part of putting together CREW’s annual Property Forecast is getting new voices and fresh insights into what has always been the magazine’s most popular issue. While we’re always happy to have our old friends, like economists Robert Hogue, Benjamin Tal and Doug Porter along for the ride, this year’s edition was bolstered significantly with the input of KeySpire CEO Michael Sarracini, who was kind enough to identify a few of the Canadian markets he feels are poised for strong performances in 2020.
“Real estate is very local, but that doesn’t mean as an investor you have to invest locally,” Sarracini says. “One of the biggest mind-shifts that helps an investor explode their returns is when they come to the realization that you can live in one city and invest in another.”
After consulting with his considerable network of experts, Sarracini chose five regional hotspots where investors have the chance of striking gold in what is sure to be a challenging year for the global economy.
Sarracini’s pick for British Columbia is Chilliwack, chosen because of its relative proximity to Vancouver, the irresistible natural beauty that surrounds the city and the impressive amount of commercial activity taking place there. “Chilliwack has some of the best rent ratios anywhere in B.C.,” he says.
Considering the economic challenges being faced by Alberta, Saskatchewan and certain parts of Manitoba, picking a winner on the prairies is no mean feat. But Sarracini is confident that Edmonton will hold its own in 2020. “Most people are fearful of oil and gas, but they miss the economics of a solid, growing agriculture sector and strong government employment,” says Sarracini, who adds that the revitalization of the city’s downtown core, combined with landlord-friendly local bylaws, create an intoxicating cocktail of potential.
Ontario’s rebounding market should mean an active year for real estate activity in the province. Sarracini feels investors should keep betting on Toronto. “Toronto has one of the greatest economic drivers supporting it: supply and demand,” he says. “More people move into the city than there are homes, even with all the new units being built.”
Most experts feel Atlantic Canada is poised to have a big year. Investors will be tempted to dip their toes into the New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and even Newfoundland markets, but Sarracini says Halifax, where the student population, government presence and strong population growth make it the place to be.
To read Sarracini’s predictions in full, including his take on the Quebec market, pick up a copy of Canadian Real Estate Wealth’s Property Forecast, which will be on newsstands across the country next week. To get more insight from Michael and KeySpire, visit www.KeyspireCommunity.com.
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