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The Garden City of St. Catharines Ontario is the largest city in the province’s Niagara region. Known got its lush landscape and beautiful natural environment, this city is an easy choice for investors who want to take advantage of the beauty of the region without falling into the more tourist-heavy markets of Niagara Falls.
With an estimated population of approximately 136,000 residents, St. Catharines is a modestly large city with plenty of room for people to live and build their lives. This is greatly contrasted by the large city of Toronto Ontario only 51 kilometres north which is home to a significantly larger population. As a result, St Catharines real estate is often considered a relaxing alternative to Toronto-style living and the market conditions reflect this.
So, if you are interested investing in a beautiful community that benefits from the spillover from Toronto’s massive real estate market, St Catharines real estate may be the place for you.
However, before we dive in, if you are interested in diving into the St Catharines real estate investing market, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity.
The Largest City in Niagara
In the Niagara Region, there are 12 distinct municipalities which all work together to create a strong and interconnected community – the largest of which is the city of St. Catharines. This means that while the largest tourism draw in the region is Niagara Falls, long-term rentals are going to be in greater demand in St Catharines.
As a part of the Niagara Region, St Catharines is within easy driving distance of these major tourist locations on top of the city’s own unique offerings. This is frequently appealing to renters who want easy access to these attractions without the day-to-day hassle of living in major tourist cities like Niagara Falls because of the quieter lifestyle the city provides while still providing the advantages of big city living as opposed to small town life.
A commitment to quality of life
Given its proximity to the metropolis of Toronto, it may be tempting to believe that St. Catharines is a less-than-desirable place to live. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The municipal leaders of St. Catharines are devoted to maintaining the city’s high quality of life. In a province known for its staggering natural beauty, St. Catharines stands out. It has earned the nickname “The Garden City” because of its thousands of acres of hiking trails, parks and gardens.
This commitment to quality of life has enabled St. Catharines real estate to steadily climb the list of best Canadian cities to invest your real estate dollar.
Education and Student Living
St Catharines is home to Brock University – a popular university with a student population of approximately 19,000. This combined with other post-secondary institutions such as The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine provides the city with a strong student culture which naturally creates a large demand for student housing to accommodate students who live off-campus and do not have the option of living with family.
As a result there is also a strong student culture in the city, with many younger people frequenting the city’s bars and establishments on nights and weekends when they are not in class.
If you are looking to invest in student rentals, a safe bet may be to pursue real estate that is close to school campuses or nearby public transit so that students may go between classes and home more easily.
A High Quality of Life in St Catharines Real Estate
Despite being contrasted with the high-speed tension of Toronto living, local officials in St Catharines make a strong commitment each year to ensure that the city is a calm and relaxing place to live with a high quality of life for its residents.
One of the main ways this is done is by maintaining the area’s beautiful natural landscape, parks, and local gardens. These efforts are part of the reason the city holds its reputation as “The Garden City” of Ontario.
In addition to the commitment to caring for the city’s parks, the area is also home to six major trails that are maintained for walking, running, cycling and more year-round so that people are able to properly get out and appreciate nature. The most notable of these trail systems is Bruce Trail – the oldest and longest hiking trail in all of Canada – which has a 20-kilometre segment that stretches through the city.
Major Industries in St Catharines Real Estate
According to the city of St. Catharines research and statistics, the local economy is driven by a combination of six key industries. These industries are as follows:
Agriculture, Food and Beverage
Agricultural and related businesses are a major driver for employment in both St. Catharines and the Niagara Region as a whole. This is largely due to the region’s strong and well-maintained natural environment that allows for crops and food products to be developed effectively and reliably.
Cross-cutting technologies – although an uncommon term to the average person – are essentially the digital frameworks and technologies that create the backbones of many modern industries. Essentially, they are the building blocks that allow for industry and technology to grow, thrive and operate.
The healthcare sector in St. Catharines is notably strong and reliable, with a total of over 8400 residents being employed in the industry during their last employment survey. Jobs in the city range from doctors, to nurses to medical specialists and personal care workers, which when combined form one of the regions primary job markets.
Manufacturing in St. Catharines has slowed down in recent years since the closing of the General Motors transmission plant in the city, however, even still manufacturing jobs remain abundant in the area with an estimated 5700 people being employed in this sector.
Engineering and Science
Engineering and science are massive employment sectors in the region that when combined with the cross-cutting technologies sector create a culture of innovation and progressive technology that helps to move the city and region towards a more sustainable future.
Finally, the tourism sector in St. Catharines is strong and independent from the nearby city of Niagara Falls. So, let’s take a closer look at this industry in detail.
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An Affordable Housing Market in St Catharines Real Estate
If you are looking for affordable, look no further than the St Catharines real estate market market – especially when contrasted with the prices in Toronto to the north. In fact, the average prices in St Catharines real estate are among some of the most competitive prices you will find for a city of its size in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. With an average housing price of roughly $710,000 at the time of writing this article, housing within the city is frequently quite attainable.
In regard to vacancy rate, the average rate in the city’s core is currently estimated at approximately 3 per cent, just inside of the 3 to 5 per cent margin recommended as a ‘healthy’ rate for a city in Ontario to maintain. However, in other parts of the city, the vacancy rate does dip lower thus providing less mobility for renters.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is currently estimated at about $1400 per month which falls just below the average in other similarly sized cities in the province. That means that while cash flow may not be as significant in all properties, affordability is less likely to be a concern that your tenants will have to deal with.
St Catharines Real Estate – Life in the Niagara Region
So, if you are interested in investing in the relaxing and beautiful lifestyle of the Niagara Region, look no further than the beautiful city of St. Catharines. With easy access to major attractions and municipalities, it is no surprise that investors have been keeping their eye on the region to test the waters for their investments.
So, if you have faith in the St Catharines real estate market and want to get in before the watchers do, let us help you get started. At LendCity we can help you secure the best available financing so that you can spend less time watching and more time growing your personal wealth through clever real estate investments.
St Catharines Real Estate Professionals
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in St. Catharines. 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 St. Catharines, 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 are ready to finance St Catharines real estate investments, click the link below for a free strategy call with us at LendCity.