The Canadian real estate market is changing. Gone are the days when there was a fortune to be made in the nation’s urban centers. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s real estate market is witnessing a significant shift in the focus of real estate buyers. Now, more than ever, smaller outlying suburban cities find themselves propelled by massive growth spurts. Among those cities benefiting from this trend is Kingston.
Table of Contents - Benefits of Real Estate Investing in Kingston
After making the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and winding their way down the inlet at the St. Lawrence River, early explorers often set their sites on a French trading post called Cataraqui. The strategic location made the site a welcome military installation for friendly travellers. When the post changed hands in 1760, its new owners, the British, renamed the fort Kingston but kept the tradition of aiding travelling merchants alive.
When the country of Canada was initially founded in 1841, the honour of capital city when to Kingston … for three years. In 1844, the capital was moved, and Kingston’s prominence in Canada began to recede. Today, the once-famous capital (and still-critical military outpost) is breathing new life and preparing for a new era of popularity.
As a real estate investor, here’s what you need to know.
Kingston is more affordable
Buyers are indeed beginning to look outside major cities more frequently than usual. Real estate speculators suggest the dramatic uptick in those numbers is a direct result of the outbreak. The sudden rise in numbers might be attributable to COVID-19, but the market trended that direction long before the novel coronavirus.
Why? Plain and simple: Canadians can’t afford to live in big cities anymore. They are too expensive. Let’s look at an example. The average cost of a home in Toronto is about $900,000 to a million dollars. The down payment for a home that price runs about $65,000. For a Canadian family to afford a home in Toronto, they would need to bring in more than $190,000 annually.
Meanwhile, the average annual salary in Canada is $44,000. In the Toronto area, the average salary rises closer to $70,000, making the goal more achievable. Still, even a married couple working in Toronto, making the regional average income, wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of a home. That stark reality is forcing more people to leave the city center in search of affordable housing.
Kingston as an accessible point of entry
Real estate investors — especially those operating with a limited investment budget — should be drawn to Kingston for the same reason buyers are. The entry point for the real estate market is substantially lower than it is in major city centers like Toronto.
For example, in Toronto, we said the average cost of a home is around $900,000 to a million dollars. In Kingston, the average cost of a home falls closer to $340,000. That’s roughly a third of the cost of a home in Toronto, and it requires a similarly low yearly income (about $70,000). Home prices in Kingston have a long way to go before they’re in league with those found in larger urban areas.
Still, the cost of a house in Kingston grew 11 percent between January and October of this year. In other words, those people who can work the price disparity between Kingston and Toronto to their advantage can buy into the market at a time when home prices are on the rise.
The ‘midway’ boost
Geographically, you won’t find a city much better placed than Kingston. In addition to lying on the point where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario, the city is also halfway between Toronto and Montreal. Don’t underestimate this connection. Kingston is about two-and-a-half hours away from the cities, making it an ideal stopover for business travellers and a perfect weekend getaway for city dwellers.
Short-term rental investors should not underestimate the tourism draw of Kingston. The city has a rich history (and the walking tours to prove it). It’s also got the right amount of culture to appease travellers hoping to split their time between nature hikes and fine dining options.
As more people move to Kingston, notoriety will increase, too. That increased population combined with the natural hike in tourism could make Kingston a valuable part of your investment portfolio.
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People don’t mind the commuting to Kingston
As years passed, real estate investors avoided cities like Kingston because they were deemed too far away from major hubs. That has changed. Consider this another of the long-term impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak. After people were forced to spend months indoors, when the time came to return to work, they quickly discovered that they didn’t mind a longer commute if it meant returning to the perfect house at the end of a long workday.
That acceptance of a commute could be considered a short-term trend among buyers still reeling from COVID-19 if not for one factor: the train system. The rail lines running between Toronto and Montreal (via Kingston) are incredibly efficient. They can transport commuters to their destination in nearly the same time as a car. That makes the prospect of enduring a two-and-a-half-hour commute somewhat more tolerable.
Kingston is a seller’s market
To give you an idea of how much the Kingston real estate market is biased toward the seller, let’s talk about “no condition” home purchases. This risky homebuying strategy involves a buyer purchasing a home with no conditions. Often that means they can’t get a home inspection, can’t look at the home’s structure, none of that. They get the home as it is, take it or leave it.
This type of home sale gets popular when an area doesn’t have enough homes to satisfy the demand. First, the prices of the home rise, then the standards of the homebuyer go out the window. These types of environments have proven especially beneficial to real estate investors with capital in the game.
If you’re looking for a good place to invest your capital, Kingston may be just the ticket.
Real Estate Professionals in Kingston
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in Kingston. Below, you can find professionals we have researched and can confirm they specialize in working with Real Estate Investors.
To ensure the maximum success in real estate investing in Kingston, or any city, you should always use professionals who understand and work with investors, your income depends on it.
This list may not fully list all the professionals in the area, but the ones we have personally investigated and that we would refer our clients to.
If you’re a real estate professional and would like us to consider adding you to the list, please contact us.
Things To Do in Kingston, Ontario
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