First off, I would like to say these 5 reasons are in no particular order. I believe Guelph is one of the best cities in all of Ontario to invest in and that these 5 reasons make up the sum of the whole. Each one compliments the next and to me, placing any one of these in priority over the others just didn’t seem right. So, with that being said, let’s get onto the good stuff!
1. Lowest Vacancy Rate In All Of Ontario
In October of 2014, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission (CMHC) released a report stating that, at the time the report was released, Guelph’s vacancy rate of 1.2% was the lowest vacancy rate in the entire province (1). WHOA! Now that definitely says something about Guelph right there. I could almost end this article right here, but there are still more reasons that Guelph is such a great place to invest in!
2. Abundant Employment Opportunities
Guelph is home to some major players in several different top industries. For example the Linamar Corporation, a global big-wig to the auto industry, has nearly 25 manufacturing plants located in Guelph alone, most of them right next door to one another in the city’s North end. In 2012, the City of Guelph reported that Linamar employed 12,000 people. Guelph’s second largest employer was the University of Guelph at just over 3700 employees. Of the top 35 employers listed on the City of Guelph’s report, the company at the very bottom with the least amount of workers still employed a whopping 130 people! (2) With 85,800 people in Guelph’s labour force, the unemployment rate is at a mere 5.1% (3). This means there are over 81,000 jobs in Guelph alone. Not too bad for a population of around 120,000! Guelph is such a diverse city with education, industry, infrastructure and tons and tons of healthy private businesses.
Needless to say, there are ample opportunities to find work in this city. For investors this is a favourable environment, which greatly increases the odds of property values remaining stable, or better yet increasing, and attracting tenants that can successfully pay their rent every month and reduce their mortgage amount year after year.
3. University Town
Since 1964 Guelph has been home to the University of Guelph, one of the most sought after universities in all of Ontario. With its student population weighing in at just over 22,000 students (4), housing near, or with public transit to, the University of Guelph has always been in demand. There are definitely some major changes coming to Guelph in the next few years regarding the student housing market though. If you don’t know what they are, check out a few of the other investment related articles on TWTalk. Regardless of how these new changes will affect the student rental market, one thing is for sure – the 22,000 + students attending the University of Guelph need somewhere to live! For the savvy investor working with the right real estate agent, there are still many opportunities to buy into the student rental market and take advantage of the high demand for premium student housing.
4. Average House Price To Average Household Income
The City of Guelph statistics show that in 2015 the average price of a detached home in the City of Guelph is $396,552 and that the average household income is $83,047 (3). This gives Guelph an average price to income ratio of 4.77. Compare this to Toronto’s price to income ratio of 7.62 (5) and Guelph is looking pretty darn good! A lower price to income ratio means more stability in the housing market, whereas the higher it goes, market volatility and “bubble bursts” becomes more of an impending doom and the decision to invest in that particular area becomes much more risky. To suggest that Guelph is a better place to invest in than Toronto – the richest city in all of Ontario – might sound absurd, but hey, the numbers don’t lie.
5. Proximity to GTA
There is no denying that Guelph’s proximity to the GTA plays an important role in the city’s overall appeal. With the average house price being almost $200,000 cheaper than buying in Toronto, it is no wonder why many Toronto-employed families decide to live in Guelph and make the daily commute. This adds to the overall demand for real estate in Guelph, which, in turn, helps to keep house prices stable or on the rise. It also means money from outside of Guelph flowing into it, which is a sign of a healthy economy.
For investors, this also means a submarket of renters that have employment in Toronto but cannot afford, or simply choose not to, rent in the city. The average price for a 3-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto is $2634.15 per month! (6) The average price for the same unit in the South end of Guelph is less than half at $1300.00 per month (7). Although Guelph investors are getting lesser rents than Toronto landlords, they’re also paying close to $200,000 less for their investment properties and purchasing in a more stable market. With Guelph having significantly lower rents for the same size units and being located within a reasonable commuting distance, there will likely always be a rental market for people working in Toronto, but residing in Guelph, that are willing to make the daily commute.
There are so many great reasons why Guelph is such a great place to invest in and, unfortunately, I could not cover them all in this article. To find out more, visit the TrilliumWest website and ask myself, or any one of the TW professionals to help you. trilliumwest.com/agents/ We take our investments seriously!
Until next time, Happy Investing!
*Disclaimer: Although every attempt has been made to provide accurate information in this article, I am not representing myself to be an economics expert or personal financial advisor of any kind. Always consult with the appropriate trusted professionals and use good judgement when making any Real Estate decisions.