By the end of 2018, 761,000 people will call the City of Hamilton home and by the year 2030, the Hamilton population is expected to reach a total of 861,000 people. Hamilton’s growth can be linked to Toronto’s businesses and residents relocating to areas where they can take advantage of the lower cost of living and immigrants choosing to reside in areas that offer the benefits that ‘Sanctuary Cities’ offer, including language classes and settlement programs.
The City of Hamilton has been taking steps to prepare for the Hamilton population growth with projects such as Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit that is expected to open by 2024 and the Downtown’s Secondary Plan which is designed to preserve Hamilton’s history while preparing for the future. Other notable projects include the newly opened Raunhofer Project Center for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, which is a $33-million biomedical research center, and the Confederation GO Station that is on track to open in 2019.
As the city of Hamilton population continues to grow, there are going to be lots of new opportunities for smart investors to investigate. Here is a comprised list with a few opportunities for investors to consider.
Investment opportunities based on the Hamilton population
1. Student Housing
Every year, McMaster University, Redeemer College, and Mohawk College accept a new wave of students. McMaster University is well known as a medically prestigious school, ranked as the 4th top University in Canada and rated the 94th in the world. Redeemer College is a private Christian liberal arts and science university that offers 20 majors and minors to its students. Mohawk College offers nearly 130 post-secondary and apprenticeship programs, and over 115,000 students have graduated from the college since they first opened their doors in 1966.
Each school has their own set of skills and plans for the future, but one area that they do have in common lays in their lack of student housing. On campus housing isn’t always an option for students, especially students studying in their third and fourth year. While off campus housing is the next viable option for students, finding housing within their budgets can be daunting. It has become far too common for students to be forced to lease homes with upwards of 10+ roommates and with unsafe living conditions.
McMaster University has had plans to develop its first off campus students residence but has begun facing some “stiff neighbourhood opposition,” due to the size of the proposed development. They are continuing to push through and they are expecting the project to be completed by 2020.
Investors looking for markets should look to student housing for opportunities. The market is in high demand and will continue to be as these schools continue to make strides in the academic world.
2. Toronto Residents Looking to Buy
While Hamilton’s real estate market is expected to climb at a much more reasonable rate compared to past years, residents of the GTA, especially in more urban areas, will continue to see a steep incline in the market. Owning real estate in Toronto has become difficult for homeowners to maintain and for this reason we will see a larger influx of Torontonians looking to invest in homes around the Golden Horseshoe area. These homebuyers are expected to purchase homes and real estate in more urban areas, such as the downtown districts, while the sellers may choose to purchase in more rural areas to balance their own cost of living.
Investors should be watching for opportunities in Hamilton’s real estate market as this new wave of higher income buyers bring with them more options for investments.
Hamilton has become a major Canadian destination for immigrants since February 2014, when the city council voted to declare it a sanctuary city. While American’s label sanctuary cities as a legal term used in providing legal services for undocumented immigrants, Canadian cities given this term are used to provide assistance to immigrants by granting them access to public amenities such as healthcare, schools, and food banks.
The census of 2011 determined that nearly 24% of Hamilton’s population was born outside of Canada with the top five countries of origin coming from Italy, India, Portugal, Philippines, and Croatia. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Hamilton residents were not born in Canada and nearly 4,000 immigrants make Hamilton their home each year.
4. Senior Living
By 2036, Hamilton’s population of seniors and older adults is expected to double its 2011 population. In fact, 17.3% of the population is 65 or older. While this is a natural progression due to modern medicine advancements, there will be challenges. Health care, socialization, and inclusion are just a few of the many projected areas in which Hamilton lacks a solid plan. If investors play their cards right and are willing to tackle the challenge, senior living could be an area of untapped opportunity.
As Hamilton’s population continues to grow, so will the opportunities awarded to clever investors. Hamilton’s seniors, students, and immigrants’ have different needs in the market than the relocation of Toronto residents, but all four of these groups will be the front runners of market demands in the following years. The residents in the City of Hamilton will continue to provide new opportunities for any investor willing to investigate them.