Oshawa has shed its reputation as a rough and tumble Toronto suburb and emerged as arguably the best region in which to invest in the Greater Toronto Area.
According to Jason Boccinfuso, a sales agent, mortgage agent and owner of Bosco Properties, a real estate development company, of all the GTA markets his company studied, Oshawa emerged with the most potential.
Regarding smaller scale investment, single-family rentals and duplexes yield high ROIs, says Boccinfuso. A converted bungalow, for example, can fetch between $1,300 and $1,800 before utilities from the main floor and between $1,000 and $1,400 from the two-bedroom basement apartment.
“Rents are similar to the city of Toronto, Scarborough and the West End, but the price of property is still more affordable out here, so the return on your investment is higher.”
Boccinfuso says there’s so much optimism in Oshawa right now that infill developments like apartment buildings have become sure bets—a testament to how much the city has changed in the last few years.
“There are a number of new apartments being constructed right now in Oshawa, and there are a number of commercial opportunities as well,” he said, noting the latter can be especially lucrative. “Stay away from big box tenants on the commercial side because they don’t pay as high rents, but the larger issue is the future of big box retail is uncertain in any market. With Amazon taking over the market share you’re seeing bigger stores go under like Sears and Target.
“Instead, have medical use, daycare, convenience stores, dentists, restaurants.”
Boccinfuso has been showcasing Oshawa to international investors, and he says one game-changer for the city has been the 407 extension and the connectivity it’s succoured.
Other amenities like VIA Rail and more frequent GO Trains have also played major roles in Oshawa opening up rather than being secluded like it used to be. Boccinfuso credits a forward-thinking city council and planning staff.
Moreover, with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College also expanding, the city keeps checking off crucial boxes.
Ultimately, though, Oshawa is still inexpensive enough to reap benefits.
“Your money goes a lot further in Oshawa than it does in Toronto, and with access to transportation routes you can be in Toronto in 20 to 25 minutes and live for half the price,” said Boccinfuso. “I think it’s really taken off in the past few years with it really heating up now. I’d say the best opportunity to invest in Oshawa is now before it’s too late and all the land is bought up. People are starting to come out this way.”
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