Canadian website MoneySense ranked Brantford the best city in Canada to buy real estate this year owing to its affordability and strong economy. Home to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and chocolatier Ferrero Rocher, Brantford offers great value for investors’ money. A new single detached house in Brantford costs just over $500,000, half the price of a single detached house in the Greater Toronto Area. Last year, Brantford’s unemployment rate was just 4.9%, the third lowest of any Canadian urban area. This city is also a safe haven for buying investment properties given the meager rental vacancy rate of 3.7%.
At a mere 100 kms from Toronto, Brantford has experienced enormous property price boost. From 2016-17, the average new detached house price has shot up almost 13% in value. With spacious properties and a small-town feel, new home buyers in Brantford love how much value they get for their money. Brantford’s downtown has also experienced a remarkable boost from Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University, which have campuses in the city.
Canadians wishing to downsize are thinking about disposing of their property in Toronto or Mississauga to buy a home in cities like Brantford for half the price. This way they get to enjoy added liquidity and cash flow all while taking advantage of comparable amenities to what they had in the bigger cities they left behind.
Back in the 1980’s Brantford was a manufacturing town dominated by farm equipment giants like Massey-Ferguson and Cockshutt. As those businesses disappeared, Brantford focused its economic development efforts on two main goals: bringing post-secondary education to the city and attracting investment from growing European and Japanese companies.
Chris Friel, the Mayor of Brantford for the last two terms acknowledged, “I don’t think there’s any single thing. I think it’s, overall, how much we’ve transformed as a community in a short period of time”. The good news is that Canadians who were feeling shut out of the home buyer’s market until recently can now heave a sigh of relief. According to VanDyk, a home of 2,000 to 2,500 square feet typically sells for $500,000 or less in Brantford, while first-time homebuyers can get something smaller in the $250,000 to $300,000 range.