Brampton in bloom

A mere 20-minute highway drive northwest of Toronto is the growing municipality of Brampton, also known as the Flower City. Despite being in its developmental infancy just 10 years ago, it is now poised to become one of the more robust communities for investment in all of Ontario.

According to area Realtors, the city may soon equal some its more established neighbours, Mississauga, Oakville and Milton.

"Prices are going up in Brampton and it's just a matter of time before it gets up to par with the rest of them," says Walter Biscaia, owner of Heritage Brampton Inc. real estate brokerage since 1972.

"Brampton has also got a nice network of green belt pathways throughout the city. And we have a downtown that is evolving very nicely."

Biscaia estimates by the end of this year, an additional 3,000 to 4,000 residents will be living in downtown Brampton because of expected condominium completions.

"The condo market in Brampton has really started to flourish, which hadn't (happened) before," adds Biscaia. "A number of projects are up and others that are on the drawing board are all downtown."

In the meantime, housing starts have also been increasing, particularly this year compared to last.

In the first half of 2010 from January to May compared to the same period in 2009, there has already been 117 per cent growth in single, semi, row and apartment starts. In the first five months of this year, the average resale price of a single-family home is $434,155, a 9.78 per cent increase from the January to December 2009 average resale price of $395,460.

"That number takes in all homes, no matter the size, and is an average for what all the homes are sold for," says Nazaar Shadir, a greater Toronto area real estate representative for the past 10 years.

"That number means the Brampton market is healthy, it's moving upward, that people want to live there. And you know people want to live there when they start paying a higher price."

Shadir also notes Brampton has a strong city council to help ensure economic investment is continually solid.

As the 11th largest city in Canada with a population of over 500,000, and among the top 10 most active construction markets in the country, Brampton is "Open for Business," while the Ontario government has listed it as one of the provinces' "Places to Grow."

The city is also conveniently nestled within the GTA's major highway 400 series for easy access, and connected to downtown Toronto by the public GO train system.

"I don't know what the exact number is but let's say over the past 10 years, 200,000 new homes have been added in Brampton," says Shadir.

"That's 200,000 more bases to collect property taxes. That's 200,000 more homes with people to spend income in the city." So as housing construction, resale value and economic development continues to rise, this may be the best time for you to buy your seeds in the Flower City.

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