Invest In Waterloo
Waterloo, a great place to invest and do business
Described as Canada’s Silicon Valley, this globally recognized mid-size city has the second-highest density of tech hubs in the world, an affordable real estate market and a diversified thriving economy. With more than 70,000 university and college students who call it home, Waterloo is focused on education, leading-edge innovation and inventing the future.
On average RO rental rates per bed in Fall 2020 increased of 2.5% over Fall 2019.
RO has the highest rental rate per room in the City of Waterloo. Rez-One Waterloo students are willing to a pay a rental premium for fast WiFi, a larger bedroom, an on-site gym, 24-hour security, a bigger/comfier bed, and dining facilities/better communal kitchen.
In 2017 Waterloo was the 7th most desirable location nationally for a student to attend post secondary school in Canada.
In 2020 Waterloo jumped to 3rd place as the most desirable location for a student to attend post secondary school in Canada.
The demand for student housing is rapidly rising. Canada has also been attracting a larger number of international students as well over the past few years. In fact, at the end of 2018, there were 572,415 international students in Canada.
In Toronto alone, there were 32,243 bed shortages, the second largest city with bed shortages in Canada with Montreal being the first. Other cities in the province followed with Hamilton, London, Guelph and Kingston as the top cities in the country with bed shortages. Housing is needed for foreign students and the supply of housing near post-secondary schools is running low.
Real Estate Market Growth
Within the City of Toronto, condo prices continue to increase to 8.5 per cent, year-over-year, at $839 per square foot, while the condos in the GTA are selling for $743 per square foot on average. Condos in Waterloo average $402 per square foot – a much more affordable market when compared to the Greater Toronto Area. A study by Zoocasa, noted that Kitchener-Waterloo has become:
“…a popular real estate destination for both locals and buyers on the move, whose buying power is supported by its strong education and a strong health and tech-based job market.”
“With interest rates expected to stay low in the year ahead combined with Waterloo Region’s ongoing growth, I expect 2020 will see more price gains alongside a steady increase in sales,”
The average sale price of a home was up nearly 10 per cent in 2019, year-over-year, while condos saw an increase of 9.6%, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR). KWAR President Colleen Koehler believes prices will continue to rise in 2020.
Overall the Kitchener-Waterloo area saw a whopping year-over-year change of 15.6% increase, compared to nationally the year-over-year increase was 9.6%*
Estimated population by 2031.
While the majority of residential MLS® System activity is properties for sale, REALTORS® are increasingly representing landlords and tenants. Last year 733 residential leases occurred through KWAR’s MLS® System, which is on par with last year and, 2.5 times as many as just four years ago.
The region is the 10th most populous Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Canada, with 583,500 residents in 2016. The Province’s Growth Plan projects that Waterloo Region’s population will reach 742,000 by 2031, which makes it one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario.
North America’s second largest technology cluster, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor, is home to 16 universities and colleges, 7.7 million people speaking 150 languages and a $332 billion economy. From startups to multinationals, the Corridor is home to companies’ intent on innovation and a support ecosystem that makes it possible.
In addition to the 15,000 tech companies including Google, Shopify, D2L, OpenText – the region’s economy is also home to industries of advanced manufacturing, information and communications, automotive, business and financial services.
2,000 new tech startups started in KW region
$600M capital raised for startups
20,000 people employed
Waterloo’s population is growing faster than provincial and national rates, is younger than most communities in Canada and is highly-educated. Not only do we have a large and skilled manufacturing workforce – accounting for nearly 18% of total employment – Waterloo is also the second-fastest growing tech talent market in North America.
Fastest growing tech talent market
The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College offer world-class research and idea generation for industries operating here. These leading facilities produce some of the highest caliber talent in the world, generating a deep talent pool of professionals who continually regenerate the local economy and labour force.
Infrastructure and Transit
Waterloo Region is expected to grow by more than 200,000 residents and 80,000 jobs by 2031. In addition to expanded GO and Express Rail service in recent years, 868 million has been invested into developing KW’s ION Rapid transit system.
In addition, Ontario will invest up to $60.7 million in infrastructure projects in Waterloo Region as part of a cost-sharing program between municipal, provincial and federal governments. Projects include new Northfield Drive bus facility, bus stop upgrades, increased service to Conestoga College
Ion light rail (Route 301) is now in service. ION light rail travels between Conestoga station in Waterloo and Fairway station in Kitchener, with a total of 19 stations along the route. At Fairway station, ION light rail connects to ION bus (Route 302) and travels to the Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge.
Stage 2 ION will see ION bus converted to light rail, creating a seamless light rail route that stretches from Cambridge to Waterloo.
Shockingly, Canada is 10 to 15 years behind in developing student housing compared to other countries. This shortage of housing in the country is largely due to the fact that international students are not considered residents and developers have been unaware that the demand for housing was so high.
Student housing continues to offer significant potential as a stable, income producing asset class with counter cyclical qualities.
*The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/national-price-map/