Most investors searching for hot property investment spots are now heading north to Barrie. Barrie is located in the beautiful Simcoe County just an hour drive north of Toronto along Hwy 400. Over the years, Barrie continues to be rated as one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and most real estate investors have identified it as a hot market for real estate business. Constantly developing infrastructure makes houses for sale in Barrie very “yummy” piece of property investment “pie”.
Barrie city is located on a beautiful, expansive beach with a lined waterfront that overlooks Kenpenfelt Bay. Canadians know it for its exciting nightlife and numerous restaurants and it is located close to some of the most popular destinations in Ontario. Barrie boasts of an iconic historic downtown, exciting events and many beautiful parks that have attracted people from all over. As far as entertainment, health services- Royal Victoria Hospital Expansion and education- Georgian College are concerned, Barrie has so much to offer than you might probably imagine. This has led to the city being recognized as one of the fastest growing North American regions.
Barrie has seen its boundaries expand considerably after it acquired 2,293 hectares of land precisely for development and this has considerably boosted its growth. The economic environment in Barrie has been attracting a spotlight not just in Ontario alone but throughout the entire country as well. The Fall Housing Outlook Report by CMHC notes that the economy of Barrie continues to grow at cautious levels. Even in the face of the recent economic downturn, there was relatively no effect on part time employment in Barrie and full time employment has been recovering admirably, particularly for those aged between 25 and 44 years.
Barrie has taken significant steps aimed at supporting economic growth in the city and the new mayor has made improving planning and development a priority. With all the advantages that Barrie has, one doesn’t really have to wonder why it has become one of the fastest growing hubs in Canada and has attracted more residents and property investors looking for a place where they can maximize their profits in the real estate business.
The cost of living
Compared to neighboring cities like Toronto, Barrie boasts of having a relatively low cost of living. One of the major factors that have contributed greatly in strengthening the housing market is job growth. Most of the employment opportunities created in Barrie during this period were full time jobs which has promoted home ownership. Also, as mortgage rates continue to remain flat, an improving economy and a supportive employment situation, people are now able to enter the housing market and own houses.
The low mortgage rates have been quite appealing to most people and this has led to most rentals turning to homeownership. But with employment equaling out, most renters have been very careful in buying houses and taking such a big expenditure. People are also being faced with the challenge of saving for a down payment and this continued to make rent to own programs in Barrie increasingly popular today.
Vacancy and rental rates
In Barrie, the vacancy rate has moved down from 3.8% last year to 3.4%. The larger apartment buildings have decreased rent while the average rental rates for single family apartments have increased by 0.7%. On average, a two bedroom house will go for between $860 and $1, 1000 while rental amount for three bedroom houses range between $1,125 and $1,375 per month. But of course the rental rate will depend on location, square footage and condition of the house. If an investor needed to buy a one bedroom condominium, the rent for those can be between $1000 and 1,500 depending on whether or not the condo has an executive suit and its square footage.
Where to buy
Key investment areas in Barrie are those on the south end particularly Mapleview and Yonge, areas surrounding the downtown- Urban Growth Center and specific intersection places at major intersections on the arterial road like Dunlop Street and Anne Street as well as Yonge Street and Big Bay Point Road. For many years, most real estate investors have been eying south end Barrie largely as they anticipate the return of GO Train Service. Properties surrounding this area have continued to retain their value largely because of the high demand for immediate accessibility to the GO Train.
The downtown core of Barrie is undergoing through a significant re- vitalization. This Urban Growth Centre has big plans for development of a water convention center, restoration of Allandale Train Station and expansion of the Royal Victoria Hospital. For the next couple of years, areas surrounding this growth are going to benefit considerably from the intensification.
South end Barrie has been attracting both professional couple/ singles looking for a convenient and easy access to transportation thanks to Hwy 400 series and GO Train and younger families having small children in either pre or middle school. Downtown attracts has been attracting more single professionals, most of them who are in medical profession and want to be close to a hospital. Most families renting houses in Downtown have teen children rather than toddlers and infants. Real estate investors will also be interested in knowing that the cash flowing townhouses having more than three bedrooms in these areas have 0.6% vacancy rate. All types of town houses for sale in Barrie (three- bedroom plus and bachelor houses) combined are just 2.0% and this is still way below the average vacancy rate in Barrie.
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