29 Oct 2019
Formerly a commuter town, Burlington, Ontario has become a destination for people to call home—and an area of interest for investors.
For starters, Burlington has become a more attractive place to live, period. The city is home to 183,000 people and plays a large role in a number of industrial sectors, including food processing, packaging, electronics, chemical, and pharmaceutical, but it’s been able to transcend those industrial building blocks and embrace more attractive aspects of its location, including its proximity to the lake and access to the Niagara Escarpment.
Maclean’s ranked Burlington as the best community in Canada in 2019, and MoneySense magazine considers it one of Canada’s best mid-size cities.
Vince Molinaro is the President of the Molinaro Group, a condominium and commercial real estate developer with roots in Hamilton and operating in Burlington. In a recent white paper, he explains why investing in Burlington is more attractive now than it has been in the past.
“Burlington has become a go-to location for many smart investors because of its location, lifestyle and the quality of the projects available,” Molinaro said.
The Molinaro Group can lay claim to many projects in Burlington. Since 1963, the company has developed over 10,000 residential units and more than one million square feet of commercial real estate in the city, including some of the development along the waterfront.
There’s been a growing interest in condominium developments, which are becoming more attractive than other types of residential investment properties in Burlington, such as single- and small multi-family units. Molinaro agrees, saying that all of their condos sell out “year after year, project after project.”
Although condos are nothing new, there are external constraints that make them an increasingly necessary part of city living.
“The Green Field Build Out means that there isn’t much land left in Burlington for single family homes or townhouses,” Molinaro said. “Most of the available land within the Burlington Urban Boundary has been used, and the Province won’t allow additional builds. Most, if not all, of the new builds in Burlington will be mid- to high-rise condos.”
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. The entry pricing of condos is attractive in comparison to low rise housing, and that makes ownership much more accessible to first-time buyers and/or investors. While condos are typically smaller, they offer amenities that aren’t available in low-rise products: luxurious pool and spa facilities, party rooms, fully appointed guest suites, decks and terraces, theatre and games rooms, and even outdoor lifestyle and exercise amenities.
Condos also offer a shared expense model which ensures that all of these facilities are properly maintained.
Demand is high, and developers such as the Molinaro Group are working to get new product to market as quickly as they can. Even though condos are typically thought of as being less desirable than single detached properties, buyers priced out of the Toronto market are still looking for somewhere to live. Investors can capitalize on this dynamic.
“It’s never too late to get into the market, given the history of appreciation in land and housing prices. So, if you’re keen on owning in Burlington, act now. Keep in mind that investing in real estate is about investing in your future. There are few investments that can say that. After all, you can’t live in or rent out a mutual fund,” Molinaro said.