Fastest Growing Canadian Cities: Prime Real Estate Investments

market trends and analysis Oct 24, 2023
Fastest Growing Canadian Cities: Prime Real Estate Investments

One of the fundamentals of a good business strategy is to understand the economics of supply and demand. When demand is high, it means there’s more money to be made from the available supply. When demand is low, prices for supplied goods may need to come down.

As a real estate investor, it’s important to put your time and money into markets with the greatest potential return on your investment. Follow the same economic principles of supply and demand, and choose to build your real estate empire where there’s boundless room for growth.

Population growth and migration patterns are two of the most helpful trends you can follow as an investor. Cities with rapid population growth are home to untapped demand for housing. Follow those trends and bake them into your investment strategy so you can create massive returns on your initial property investments.


Investor tip: big cities don’t always lead to high returns


If you’re just starting your investment journey, it’s natural to make a few assumptions. First on that list of assumptions is a trap that many new investors inadvertently set for themselves. They assume that the largest cities in the country have the greatest potential for investment returns.

On the surface, this assumption makes a lot of sense. The largest cities in Canada, in ascending order, are unquestionably Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Metro populations are reported at 2.5 million, 3.7 million, and 5.6 million, respectively, in each of the three cities.

The entire population of Canada was reported at just under 39 million people in 2022. If you add the metro populations of the three largest cities together, you discover that over 30% of Canadian residents live in the three largest metropolitan regions in the country. To the untrained investor, those populations scream massive opportunity.

The x factor to consider is the population growth rate in each of these markets. Growth rates indicate the volume of new arrivals in those regions who need options for housing. High growth rates suggest equally high demand, and a market that’s ripe for opportunities. Low growth rates, on the other hand, suggest limited potential to reap returns on real estate investments.


What are the fastest growing cities in Canada?


According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, Vancouver grew at an annualized growth rate of 2.8%. Toronto grew at a slightly lesser rate of 2.1%, while Montreal grew at an anemic 0.9%.

In contrast, cities in Atlantic Canada led the way in annualized growth rates across the country. Moncton, New Brunswick was the fastest growing region, reporting an annualized growth rate of 5.3%, closely followed by Halifax at 4.4%. Several Nova Scotia and New Brunswick communities, including Kentville, Truro, New Glasgow, Cape Breton, Fredericton, Saint John, and Miramichi were all amongst the fastest growing communities in Canada.


What’s driving population growth in Atlantic Canada?


The population growth rate data suggests that the east coast is lush with opportunities for real estate investors. Indeed, Nova Scotia, in particular, is reporting its fastest growth rate since 1951. In fact, since 2015, new arrivals to the province have equaled approximately 10% of the provincial population.


What’s driving the migrations to Eastern Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular?


- Post-pandemic life goals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, government-mandated lockdowns forced millions of people to work fully remote from their own homes. As Canada slowly lifted lockdowns and returned to a sense of normalcy, some people were unwilling to give up their new ways of living.

In fact, they wanted more room to further enjoy time working from home. Thousands of people left the country’s largest cities for smaller communities to create more space for their growing families. Locations on the east coast were less developed and more appropriate for Canadians reevaluating their ways of life.


- Relative affordability

In a country as vast as Canada, it’s normal for prices to fluctuate depending on the region. Large urban areas are naturally more expensive due to the population density and perceived demand for goods and services. Again, the fundamentals of economics impact things like affordability.

In contrast, prices in Atlantic Canada, relatively speaking, are more affordable than in more densely populated regions of the country. With Canadian inflation remaining stubbornly high, more affordable lifestyles are very attractive to many residents.


- More affordable options for housing

Another reason fueling population growth in Atlantic Canada is music to a real estate investor’s ears. Canadians see more affordable housing options on the east coast relative to other parts of the country.

While many families relocate to Nova Scotia for a single detached house with a large swath of land, others are just as content living in multifamily properties at more affordable rates. Multifamily property demand is a real estate investor’s dream.

Halifax is the largest city in Atlantic Canada with sizable shares of multifamily properties listed on the market. Rent prices are also on the rise in Halifax as population growth is triggering higher demand than current supply can sustain. As a result, there’s a growing need for additional rental housing in the city, creating whole new investment opportunities for a multifamily investment strategy.



Use growth rates to build real estate investment strategies


Remember that successful real estate investing is a matter of simple economics. By following the basic principles of supply and demand, you give yourself a massive advantage as you build your real estate investment empire.

Atlantic Canada has become one of the fastest growing areas of the country. Use that knowledge to develop a strategy that will yield higher returns for your initial investments.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to invest in your own backyard, so to speak. Part of the secret to an effective real estate investment strategy is learning how to select the right markets to make your investments. If you live near one of the largest metropolitan areas, don’t feel like you’re forced to invest strictly in your local area.

The purpose of investing in multifamily properties is that you can hire a property manager to run the day to day requirements at your building(s). Your job, as the investor, is to ensure the rent cheques come in, and any purchase orders to make superficial improvements to the building are approved and processed accordingly.


Join the ultimate real estate education platform for more helpful advice


While you can move faster building your investment plan alone, you’ll rob yourself of useful knowledge that can help you scale more effectively. Your investments are yours alone to make, but that doesn’t mean you need to conduct research and make decisions as a solo practitioner.

Become part of one of the fastest growing real estate investment communities to assist with your development as an investor. You’ll connect with people who are undertaking the same journey, and you can learn from experienced professionals to help you grow faster and avoid making common mistakes.
Population growth rates are a helpful piece of data to build an investment plan. Join the ultimate real estate education community today, and you never know what other helpful insights can scale up your growth plans.



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