Hamilton has been called steel town, Tiger Cat crazy, and Canada`s biggest little city. Hamilton currently has the largest unemployment rate in Ontario, due to an industrialized town lacking the manufacturing jobs they ones boasted. This is all slowly changing for the better.
With real estate prices soaring in Toronto and surrounding suburbs, young professionals and young families are finding solace in Hamilton’s affordable housing market. Barton Street could soon start turning into Toronto’s Ossington, Hamilton's James Street could soon rival Toronto's Dupont, as proper rehabilitation and investment into the area begins. Metro Links are planning a second Go Station in the upper James area in time for the 2015 Pan Am games, McMaster University's light rail system that is also currently being built. Both of these transit systems will further progress Hamilton’s transportation capabilities, in order to keep up with the growing demand for convenient transportation. Families from Toronto are selling their expensive homes and condos in order to live mortgage free in one of the many up and coming neighborhoods in Hamilton.This growing trend has caught the eye of CBC and TD Bank, whom have recently both acknowledged the trend and supported it. Hamilton will continue to grow, and as it does, new businesses will prosper, filling the demand for young families, young professionals and the suburban youth that will dominate the area in coming years. When the growing demand is supplied, the unemployment rate will drop, as more Hamiltonians will mean more jobs to service those choosing to invest and live in Hamilton. New subdivisions are being built closer to Toronto to service those who refuse to drive the distance for work, and are willing to pay a high price for convenience. Since new construction of suburban housing is at a low in Hamilton, the supply of homes has not increased to meet the demand, which continues to grow exponentially; thus increasing the price of homes. With real estate prices for homes close to Toronto higher than it has ever been, Hamilton’s affordable housing has attracted more people to invest into the fastest growing real estate market in Ontario.
Recently TD Bank stated that “Along with Calgary, Hamilton’s housing market is currently the tightest among the major markets,” bank economist Diana Petramala said. “The tightness has reflected a combination of both strong demand and a lack of available supply.”
Since 2010, average home prices have climbed eight per cent a year in the city, and steel manufacturing is bolstering for 2015. Although with current minimal manufacturing progress in the City, home hunters from Toronto have driven the market. According to TD Bank, this recent real estate trend has driven the gap between prices and average local incomes to 4.8 times (meaning the average home price is greater than four and-a-half times the combined income of an average Hamilton household) . The average home price in Hamilton is $400,000, in Oakville $800,000 and in Toronto last month up 7% to $617,000.
Although prices are increasing, at the moment Hamilton is still very affordable, and is rapidly growing in convenience as the city’s livability is improving. As Go Transit increases its capabilities from Toronto via the Go Train, and a second Go Station in Hamilton is being built, Hamilton is looking more and more like a viable alternative for those who work in Toronto.
“Within the context of the GTA, Hamilton still looks reasonably affordable,” Petramala said. “The price differential will remain a draw for residents priced out of more expensive markets within the GTA, thus helping keep a floor under demand.”
Keep an eye on Hamilton’s real estate prices, as Hamilton is the place to invest in 2015.The sooner you get in, the higher the return on your investment will be as the current growth will be dwarfed by what will come.