You don’t have to look far to find a reason to invest in Hamilton. Whether it’s the promise of an LRT line, the planned Bayfront redevelopment, or the continuing growth of sale prices in the market, the reasons are endless. But Hamilton is a big city, and the strategic investor needs to look closely at the best neighbourhoods to invest in. By taking a look at vacancy rates, amenities, and sale prices of investment properties, I’ve picked my top 5 Hamilton neighbourhoods to invest in.
1. THE DURAND NEIGHBOURHOOD
The Durand Neighbourhood is the inner-city district bounded by Main Street West, James Street South, the Escarpment and Queen Street South. It is home to approximately 12,000 Hamiltonians, and is a go-to for those looking to rent close to the downtown core. As such is a great place for investors to start their search. Notably, the vacancy rates in the area are in the lower range at about 3.1%. Prices in this neighbourhood are usually a bit higher, with the average price per square foot being $206 based on transactions so far in 2016. Price point aside, if you’re the kind of investor looking for an older building with more character and beautiful architectural details, it’s definitely one of the neighbourhoods to put on your list.
2. THE NORTH END NEIGHBOURHOOD
The North End Neighbourhood is situated in the North-West of Hamilton bordered by Wellington St N, the CN tracks and most importantly the Hamilton Harbour. The waterfront is known to be the city’s most valuable economic and ecological resource and offers beautiful views. Here you will find the average price per square foot is a little lower at $73. Currently, about 75% of residents of the area own their own home and 25% are renters. With such a low inventory of rentals, it’s definitely in demand for potential tenants. Recently, the City of Hamilton announced its plan to develop 1,500 new residential units in 8 storey buildings. They are to include commercial and institutional spaces with an additional 1,400 parking spaces. The plan is to reserve 40 percent of the piers for public open space. Overall, if you’re looking for an opportunity to find tenants, this is a good place to look, especially before prices start going up.
3. KIRKENDALL (NORTH & SOUTH)
The Kirkendall neighbourhood extends between Main St West and the Escarpment, bordered in the east on Queen St South and bordered on the west by the 403/Chedoke Expressway. This area has the perks of being close to trails, highways, popular local shops and includes the reservoir known as “The Res”. It is also home to McMaster Innovation Park, a recognized development that offers research opportunities and to date has become a place of job creation with over 700 full-time jobs. MIP is also planning to house ten buildings with 1,500 -1,800 employees in the following ten years. Here you can find the average price per square foot is approximately $233, and rental vacancy rates of 3.6%*. For investors interested in mixed use buildings or homes with character, this is a great place to start.
*vacancy rate includes Kirkendall, Strathcona, and Chedoke areas.
Beasley neighbourhood can be found between the CNR tracks to the North, Wellington Street to the east, Main Street to the North and James Street North to the West. Full of Victorian-Era homes, cute shops and cafes, and easy access to transit, it is becoming a desirable area. Proof of this is in the Torontonians that have recently migrated to the area. The vast majority of homes in Beasley are rentals (79%) and the increase in tenants has driven rents up significantly. Also noteworthy, almost half of the neighbourhood’s dwellings consists of apartment buildings with at least five storeys. The current market shows that the average price per square foot is approximately $96. And as any savvy investor knows, lower acquisition costs for potential rentals in an area dominated by rentals is a proven formula for success.
5. GIBSON & LANDSDALE NEIGHBOURHOOD
The Gibson and Landsdale neighbourhood is situated between the CN Railway, Main St East, Wentworth St North, Sherman Ave North. Here you will find approximately 4,900 residents and 300 hundred businesses. Most of these businesses are part of the Barton Village BIA which is presently becoming more attractive and is strongly supported by Hamilton. Within this neighbourhood, renters are more prominent in the area at 62% compared to 38% homeowners. Six out of ten of these renters live in unaffordable housing and spend 30% or more on shelter costs. Undoubtedly, there is a lack of affordable housing in Gibson and Landsdale, and a large demand for it. Therefore, this area is highly recommended for developers of supportive and affordable housing. If interested, you will be able to find grants from the Government of Ontario.
Overall, whichever Hamilton neighbourhood you choose, you are bound to find something to love about it. Each have their own unique traits, but I feel strongly that they all offer excellent investment opportunities.