Four and a half hours north of Toronto, near the apex of Lake Huron, sits Greater Sudbury (or Sudbury, as it’s more commonly known). If you’re looking to add affordable real estate to your portfolio, it’s a solid pick: from the film industry to mining, finance to technology, this modest area has plenty to offer. With the number of homes for sale falling over the last few months, it looks like Sudbury is poised to become a seller’s market.
Table of Contents - Benefits of Real Estate Investing in Sudbury
If moderate investments in Northern Ontario’s largest city—and the fifth-largest by land area in the entire country—sound good to you, read on to learn more about what Sudbury has to offer.
History and geography of Sudbury
Sudbury is referred to as “Nickel City,” thanks to its long history in nickel mining. Initially, the region was inhabited by Algonquin tribes, before nickel ore was discovered in the 1880s. Once settlers found mining opportunities in Sudbury’s land. Nickel was discovered during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which made it convenient for European settlers to make their way into the area.
Since the European influx, there has been a large Franco-Ontarian population in Sudbury, although it was named after a town in England. Throughout the town’s history, it has been a major supplier of nickel as well as lumber and manufacturing. All this took its toll on the area, and in the 1970s, a concerted effort was made to “regreen” the area. Environmental preservation is now as important as using the area’s plentiful natural resources.
Geographically, Sudbury is the biggest town by land area in Ontario, spanning 3924 square kilometres over the entire metropolitan area. Most notably, it has over 330 lakes within city limits. Scientists believe that the Sudbury Basin was created by a comet or meteorite’s impact, leaving behind land rich in nickel, copper, platinum and more. Although the local rock turned black from smelting ore, the regreening efforts have restored a lot of vegetation to the area. There are also several conservation areas, which focus on preserving the natural environment.
Greater Sudbury’s population was around 161,500 during the 2016 census. The average age is 41, and the average household income is about $72,000. The population is slowly growing—in fact, Invest Sudbury describes it as a “sustained period of population growth.” About 16 percent of the town’s residents speak French at home, which is no surprise thanks to its heavily French roots. Educationally speaking, 43 percent of its residents have completed college or trade school, and 19 percent have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, 18 percent of the population has no certificate at all, including high school.
Sudbury’s average home prices were about $314,000 in November 2020, which is significantly lower than in major metropolitan areas like Toronto. The average rent is $1,275 for a one-bedroom apartment, and about 34 percent of Sudbury residents rent their homes.
When it comes to the economy, mining, government and education top of the most popular industries. However, there’s also a burgeoning film industry component, too—Sudbury has become a popular place to film and debut films in the last couple of decades.
Sudbury’s unemployment rate is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 2020, it hovered around 8.6 percent, which is lower than the 10.2 percent average for the entire country. The latest statistics showed that the Greater Sudbury district gained 1,200 jobs in August 2020, which is a promising sign of economic recovery.
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Culture and entertainment in Sudbury
The district’s Franco-Ontarian population is just as much of a defining characteristic as its mining and transportation history. If you’re looking to invest in Sudbury, it probably wouldn’t hurt if you understood French. Although that’s not as pressing of a need as it would be in Quebec, 40 percent of the area’s population has French roots and speaks the language.
There are several film festivals held annually in Sudbury, as well as two major art galleries and numerous theatres. Place des Arts, a new community arts space in the downtown area, began construction in 2019. It will primarily focus on Francophone art and includes a concert hall, theatre, studio space and more. The district hosts a symphony, several concert venues and art installations throughout. Although Sudbury doesn’t have the population of a place like Toronto, it certainly has enough art, entertainment and culture to attract tourists and residents. (You may have even heard it memorialized in Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song “Sudbury Saturday Night.)
In addition to the arts, Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction, and several sports teams, including the Sudbury Wolves, call the area home. In other words, there’s plenty to do in town, no matter where one’s interests lie.
Real estate outlook in Sudbury
Real estate prices are steadily climbing for residential clients. In fact, November 2020 saw a 27.5 percent increase in home sales over November 2019—and that’s with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging. It’s actually the highest sale level in 15 years. In turn, prices rose, too, about 12 percent higher than last year at the same time. These statistics indicate that if you want to make a moderately-priced investment that should continue to gain in value, now is a good time to make your move. With the economy recovering and unemployment steadily lowering, the area may continue to grow in popularity.
Commercial real estate is harder to pinpoint. One of Sudbury’s biggest challenges is revitalizing the downtown core, particularly with retail and other attractions. So far, despite efforts like constructing the Place des Arts, most commercial real estate tends to be outside the downtown core. However, if you find a killer deal in the area, it may be prudent to jump on it—there’s every reason to believe that the area will continue to grow.
When you’re looking for a safe investment, Sudbury might be just the ticket.
Real Estate Professionals in Sudbury
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in Sudbury. 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 Sudbury, 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.
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