If you're looking to buy an investment property, certain parts of the world are better than others. The United States is often a place where people look to purchase a property. Prices there are reasonable in some parts of the country, and the housing prices are (overall) relatively stable. However, the U.S. does have some problems. For starters, the world saw what can happen when the economy went downhill in 2008 – property prices also went down significantly. For this reason, and others, many people should instead consider investment property in Canada.
Canada has one of the world's most robust housing markets. Indeed, housing prices have gone up significantly in the past years, and they show no signs of slowing down. Couple that with a robust economy, a well-educated population, and a healthy rental market, and Canada all of a sudden looks like a pretty awesome place to own investment property!
The problem is that, of course, prices have gone up so much! With that said, there are still some bargains. If you're looking to buy investment property in the land of the maple leaf, here are seven places to consider!
Investment Property in Canada: Saint John, New Brunswick
There's no place quite like New Brunswick. Situated in the Maritimes, this province is beautiful and affordable. Saint John is one of the most affordable housing markets in the nation, with the average home price being just under $200,000 (Canadian dollars, of course).
Saint John also has a healthy rental market and a relatively good economy. Its GDP per capita is a healthy $51,021, meaning that the area has a fairly good economic impact compared with other Canadian cities (by contrast, the GDP of Toronto, Canada's largest city, is a mere $57,000 per capita).
If you're looking for a bargain, Saint John has them. It's not inconceivable to find property in the city for less than $100,000. Now, the home is invariably going to be relatively small (think less than 800 square feet), but it is still a property that might fetch $800 or so a month on the rental market. That could potentially be an excellent ROI on your investment!
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay is one of the more underrated parts of Canada. With homes that hover around the $250,000 mark on average, Thunder Bay has small-town charm even though it has a population of over 100,000 people in it. It's pretty picturesque, sitting on the top of Lake Superior. Residents can enjoy the lake at any time, and it's close to the U.S. border, so crossing over into Duluth or Minneapolis is something that residents can do pretty quickly.
Like the other places on this list, Thunder Bay has a healthy economy with a reasonable GDP per capita of about $49,000. There's a university in Thunder Bay, and it is now a regional services centre for the northwestern part of Ontario. Indeed, many provincial departments have an office in Thunder Bay which helps bolster the overall economy.
Much like Saint John, there are bargains in Thunder Bay. While it's a little bit tougher to find a home for less than $100k in this city, it's not hard to find one under $200k. Indeed, there are even some lovely homes below $150k if you're willing to look. There's also a healthy condo market in Thunder Bay, so if you'd prefer to own a condo instead of a home (a condo is often easier to rent since it has less maintenance), that's an option too. Depending on where you locate, an investment here could be perfect for your portfolio!
If the thought of owning an investment property in an idyllic community just off the St. Lawrence river is appealing to you, look no further than Saguenay. This charming small city of about 150,000 people is one of the better places to own an investment property for various reasons. First, it has a relatively robust economy thanks to a gradual transition towards research and other knowledge-based industries.
Second, the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi is located in this region and has about 6,500 students enrolled. As you might guess, many of those students require some form of housing which (in the right areas) keeps the rental market in good shape. While there might be some turnover with students leaving once they graduate, there are almost always other students willing to take over the property.
Saguenay also has low home prices. The average cost for a house sits just above $200k, and much like Saint John, there are deals if you're willing to look in the right areas and at the correct type of home. Lower square footage, two-bedroom homes will have the lowest price (and they are often relatively easy to rent to students).
Investment Property in Canada: Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina is the first of two cities in Saskatchewan to make this list. The capital city of Saskatchewan is Regina, although it's not the province's biggest city.
This city is quite affordable, with an average home price that sits under $275k. Much like the other places on this list, you can often find excellent deals on condos. It's not uncommon to see a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for under $150k in this area.
Regina also has quite a robust economy, featuring a per capita GDP of over $70,000. Additionally, it has the University of Regina, meaning that you should always have some students interested in your rental property if you buy one close to the university!
Saskatoon is the other city in Saskatchewan that makes this list. With a population of around 250,000, Saskatoon is slightly more populous than Regina. That makes it Saskatchewan's largest city.
Saskatoon is slightly more expensive in terms of housing. The average home price in the region sits around $330,000, although that will likely rise in the coming years and months. Much like Regina, you can still find condos in Saskatoon for under $150k, making it a relatively cheap area for an investment!
Saskatoon has a slightly lower per capita GDP at $65,000. However, it has an impressive economy and a large number of higher education institutions. Indeed, the University of Saskatchewan is in Saskatoon, which is always a good sign of renting out your property for student housing!
Investment Property in Canada: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Despite being a relatively large city, Winnipeg also has reasonably affordable housing – especially if you look slightly outside the city limits.
Winnipeg has quite a few fun attractions, including the Museum of Human Rights and the Winnipeg Jets hockey team. It also has a vibrant economy that has recently seen an influx of tech interest (for example, SkipTheDishes, a Canadian alternative to DoorDash, has its headquarters in Winnipeg). The city has a GDP of $47,000 per capita, putting it just shy of Toronto. That's all to say that Winnipeg has a robust economy and is a thriving city that attracts a substantial amount of talent.
Additionally, the average home price in Winnipeg sits around $320k. You can find condos much cheaper, though, and those are often quite a bit easier to rent.
One word of caution, though, with Winnipeg. It has historically had a very high crime rate (as compared with the rest of Canada). Therefore, if you see a deal, be sure to verify the neighbourhood before you make the purchase. Even if it's a rental property, you'll want to know that the tenants you'll get will want to live in that area and take good care of the home!
Calgary is by no means the least expensive city to buy a property, but it's worth including on this list because it has a unique ROI potential.
Thanks to a large oil and gas industry, Calgary has one of the highest GDPs in Canada, which sits at a whopping $72,000 per capita. However, oil can be a bit of a boom and bust cycle, meaning that Calgary has historically gone through periods of economic fortune and economic misery. Recently, the reliance on oil and gas has begun changing. Calgary is now significantly more into tech and other clean energy projects. Indeed, there's a strong entrepreneurial spirit in this city, making it an attractive alternative for companies to costlier places like Vancouver.
Additionally, while the average home price is relatively high at just over $500k, this figure is somewhat misleading. Homes are that high – condos are not. There are quality condos that you can find for less than $200k. These condos would make excellent investment properties. And, if you look north towards Red Deer or south to Lethbridge, there are less expensive properties in either of those cities (and they are not far from Calgary).
So, for a relatively small amount of money (for a condo), you might be able to catch a robust economic tailwind that will not only boost your property value but also give you a steady stream of rent cheques.
Investment Property in Canada Is a Good Buy
Many parts of Canada have fantastic potential ROIs on investment properties (outside of the very expensive Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver). Since it's such a large country and relatively sparsely populated, many small cities and towns have affordable investments.
If you're looking to buy investment property in Canada, check out the seven cities above. If none of those work for you, start looking at places around the major metro areas. Many of them have affordable housing that makes for excellent investment properties!