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Sault Ste. Marie – affectionately called ‘The Soo’ by the local population – is a city in northern Ontario known for its rich history and culture. With plenty to see and do in the city, it’s no surprise that the Sault Ste. Marie real estate market is quickly becoming a new hot spot for investors looking to dive into an affordable real estate market before it truly takes off.
Sault Ste. Marie currently has a population of over 76,000 people and is home to the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, which provides an excellent balance between the comfortable, welcoming vibe of smaller towns and the strong, ambitious drive you would expect from larger cities. However, as investors are quickly beginning to notice, despite the relatively affordable and relaxed market in Sault Ste. Marie, the city still holds strong potential to deliver massive returns that can compete with many larger markets in terms of value.
So, how exactly has this small city in the north become home to such incredible untapped potential? Let’s take a look at some of the finer details of why Sault Ste. Marie might be a great home for your investments in 2023.
However, before we dive into the Sault Ste. Marie real estate market, click the link below for a free strategy call to learn more about how to finance and invest in real estate like a professional.
Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate is An Affordable Market for Beginners
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned expert, or a new investor looking to break into the market, there is one thing everyone is looking for on the real estate market – a good deal. Fortunately, Sault Ste. Marie is home to some of the most high-value properties at some of the most affordable rates.
In summer 2022, Sault Ste. Marie was bolstering an average home price of approximately $320,000 – a serious bargain compared to the average price for comparable properties in more competitive markets across the province. Now, with housing cooling off across Ontario, these bargains continue to become better and better deals.
From fur trading to forestry in Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate
As with most areas in Canada, Sault Ste. Marie was originally populated by First Nations tribes, most of whom were Ojibwe-speaking. When French settlers moved into the territory, it was christened with the French name. Sault Ste. Marie was a mission settlement and fur trading post starting in the 18th century. Its waterfront location and nearby forests made it ideal for transportation and trade, including a robust forestry industry.
Before the War of 1812, Sault Ste. Marie also included the American city of the same name. The war’s ending prompted a treaty between the United States and Canada, which divided the territory. Since St. Mary’s River delineated the new U.S./Canada border, everything to the south of the border became part of the United States. Once the border was established, British traders were largely prevented from trading with Americans. Both cities developed separately.
Today, the International Bridge spans the river to connect the two Sault Ste. Maries. The city is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Sudbury to the east, seven hours from Toronto to the southeast and eight hours from Thunder Bay in the northwest. The French influence remains to this day—in fact, an English-only resolution in 1990 sparked a major outcry from the sizable French-speaking population.
High Quality of Life and Affordable Living
The Sault Ste. Marie real estate market is an excellent place to live – with a high quality of life and plenty of local activities and culture to explore and an affordable cost of living, it is no surprise that the city is one that renters look upon fondly.
Sault Ste. Marie is home to plenty of sports and recreational opportunities such as golf courses, batting cages and racing facilities at Runway Park. It is also home to great tourism opportunities including both tours of the gorgeous surrounding landscapes and opportunities to explore the rich cultural history of the first nations community that have historically called the region home.
This is a great benefit for renters because unlike more expensive markets such as the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), the average person is spending less of their income on expenses and can afford to support local businesses and enjoy the culture much more freely.
Discover How To Buy Unlimited Rental Properties With This Step By Step Guide
A Rapidly Expanding Market
While the market in Sault Ste. Marie is currently still quite affordable, the truth is that the market is still growing and appears to have a bright future ahead. In fact, if you are looking to invest in multifamily developments, Sault Ste. Marie is currently demanding exactly your type of investment.
Currently the average vacancy rate in Sault Ste. Marie is approximately two per cent. While this low percentage sounds like it may be a good thing, the truth is that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) defines three to five per cent as a healthier range because it provides more room for new people to move into the community much more easily. The city attributes this lower-than-recommended vacancy rate to the lack of high-density housing and large multifamily properties in the city.
Now that the city has seen its need for new housing, it is only a matter of time until developers step in to meet the community’s needs. So, why not allow yourself to be that developer and create new investments while also helping to grow the community.
Newcomer Population and The Rural and Northern Immigration Program is Driving the Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate Market
The Sault Ste. Marie real estate market is also home to one of the most reliable locations for Canadian newcomer populations, currently boasting a newcomer retention rate of over 73 per cent. This means that new residents are frequently coming into the city and deciding the plant their roots there for the long-term.
As well, the city is included as part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program. This program is designed to encourage people immigrating to Canada to move into these communities and start a new life, meaning that if this program succeeds, Sault Ste. Marie is going to see plenty of growth in the demand for rental properties in the coming years so that these newcomers can find housing upon arrival.
Industry and Connections
With the increased demand for electric vehicles, Sault Ste. Marie likely to see a massive boom in their economy due to many of the core materials needed for these cars being mined and manufactured in Northern Ontario.
This demand also extends across the border into the United States, which makes the Sault Ste. Marie real estate market a great home for international trade due to the presence of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge connecting the city to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan – a sister city in the United States that together with Sault Ste. Marie Ontario are known collectively as the Twin Saults.
Large Multifamily Investments and The Demand for Developers in Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate
Sault Ste. Marie currently has an estimated vacancy rate of approximately two per cent. While this low number may sound incredible for investors because it means the odds of their rental properties staying vacant is incredibly low, it is not healthy for the growth and expansion of the city.
With such as low vacancy rate, there is not a lot of room for residents to move around or for new people to move into the city and expand its population.
However, while this is a definite set back for the immediate growth of the city, it has created an incredible demand for developers to turn their eyes on the city and begin investing in large-scale multifamily properties such as high-rise apartment complexes and large condominiums.
While there is certainly still a demand for single-family housing, multifamily properties such as these serve to introduce significantly more units in a much shorter period of time, thus helping to ensure the city has room to grow for years to come.
A Constantly Growing Population
Speaking of housing new residents, the demand for new housing is largely pushed by the growing population of the city. Not only has the city been growing as Canadian residents have begun to notice the potential associated with investing in the Sault Ste. Marie real estate market but is also quickly becoming a major hub for residents who are new to Canada.
The city of Sault Ste. Marie currently maintains a newcomer retention rate of approximately 73 per cent. This means that of all new residents who move to Canada and settle in this city, more than seven out of every ten of them decides to stay and plan their roots.
However, the city is not simply gaining new residents by random chance or selection by newcomers, the Canadian government is actively incentivizing this growth. Sault Ste. Marie is one of the cities that is part of Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. This program is designed to incentivize newcomers to move into smaller rural and northern markets to avoid overcrowding and overpopulating major urban areas that already have massive populations.
Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate – Built for Growth
The Sault Ste. Marie real estate market is packed full of opportunities and is actively inviting growth from investors and residents across Canada and beyond in order to make this city live up to its full potential. This means that even with the Ontario housing market going through a cold period, the iron is still hot and ready for you to strike.
So, if you are ready to get started and build financial freedom in an up-and-coming market, give us a call at LendCity. We are dedicated to helping you get the best available financing for all of your real estate investments regardless of whether the deals you are pursuing are residential, commercial, industrial or new developments. We also will help you structure your investments and mortgages to maximize your avenues for growth in the future.
Sault Ste. Marie Real Estate Professionals
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in Sault Ste. Marie. 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 Sault Ste. Marie, 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.
If you would like to learn more about how to finance your Sault Ste. Marie real estate investments click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity.