A LOW UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, AFFORDABLE YET STEADILY RISING HOUSING PRICES AND A THRIVING ECONOMY MAKE BRANTFORD AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO LIVE.
Since MoneySense magazine’s highly anticipated list of Where to Buy Real Estate placed the unassuming town as #1 last year, all eyes have been on Brantford, Ontario. Home to Empire’s most established community, Wyndfield, we believed in Brantford’s potential long before the media took notice. Over the last decade, we’ve watched first-hand as the town grew from its small-town roots into a thriving city. Today, Brantford has achieved a very unique harmony between a small Southern Ontario town and a thriving community that has welcomed growth. Having kept a strong commitment to community involvement, historical preservation and remembering where it came from, the town doesn’t feel quite like the traffic laden GTA suburbs of Brampton or Mississauga, but offers a strong variety of amenities and jobs to welcome new residents.
So how did Brantford make it to the very top of the list? Thanks to a low unemployment rate, affordable yet steadily rising housing prices and a thriving economy, all of which were the result of strategic investments in the town’s future.
A DIVERSE ECONOMY
If your one of millions of Canadians who enjoy the delicious chocolaty spread Nutella, you have Brantford to thank. Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tacs are all made in Brantford at the Ferrero plant, which has become such an integral part of the Brantford community that they host World Nutella Day every February. While many municipalities across Southwestern Ontario relying on manufacturing fell on tough times as the industry declined, Brantford was able to diversify, keeping its economy thriving and unemployment low while continuing to employ many at the Ferrero plant.
The opening of Brantford Campuses of Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University gave the downtown a significant boost, while former Brantford mayor, Chris Friel, also made significant efforts to attract Japanese and European companies in the food processing and advanced manufacturing industries. The strong job market and affordable living costs is why Friel says Brantford has become an attractive option for homebuyers in the GTA. “You can sell your home in Mississauga for $720,000 and buy the same home in Brantford for $420,000,” says Friel. “You have all the amenities you need, and yet you’re only five minutes away from beautiful little towns and a rural area.” All this while being able to put a little money in your pocket for investing, experiences or the future.
STRONG HOUSING MARKET
Of course a huge factor in MoneySense’s annual analysis is the housing market in the town in question. To identify the value of a neighbourhood, they compare average housing prices provided by local real estate boards across the country. However, looking for cheapest prices alone isn’t everything. Low prices can be indicative of neighbourhoods with a lack of amenities or low appreciation. Instead, MoneySense looks for relative value compared to neighbouring communities among other factors. The top-ranked cities have strong economies, solid rental markets, great value and robust price appreciation.
Brantford may not have seen the skyrocketing property values of Toronto, but someone who bought in 2007 would have generated an annual rate of return of 8.5% over 10 years, better than the 7.1% generated by the average single-family home in the GTA.
But of course strong housing and the job market still needs to be coupled with liveable amenities. Former mayor Chris Friel says that new Brantford residents are attracted by more than housing costs. Instead, they’re looking for a place they can feel safe letting their children walk to school, enjoy a small town lifestyle while surrounded by amenities and putting a little extra money in their pocket. Brantford’s strong community spirit, multiculturalism and vibrant downtown means residents can experience the very best of the in between; a community with amenities like a city and charm like a small town.
We’re excited to continue to build new homes in Brantford as more homebuyers realize the benefits of this amazing town.
Brantford is not the only place to get excited about. Cities including Kitchener, Niagara and Hamilton also ranked high as great choices for homebuyers in the GTHA. Find out more about our communities and the amazing cities they call home.
Blend the flash of the Falls with the nostalgia and wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Twenty Valley or enjoy the beaches of St. Catharines and South Coast. Ranking 12th on the list, St. Catherines is bursting with things to do. Home to dozens of trendy restaurants, bars and casinos, Niagara is the perfect place to start a family or retire. With warm, welcoming streetscapes, parks, walking trails and a tranquil spring creek, Empire Imagine offers a wide range of exceptional new home designs.
Kitchener-Waterloo, just a 10-minute drive from Riverland, was ranked 12th on MoneySense’s list. Built to provide ease of living for you and your family, the Breslau Community Centre has become a thriving gathering spot bringing together Riverland neighbours. A trail snakes through the community, connecting residents to the scenic Grand River and the network of Woolwich’s trails totaling more than 80 kilometres for walking, running, cycling, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. As the community continues to grow, we are excited to explore amenity opportunities including a proposed on-site school and proposed parks and trails. Just a 15-minute drive from Kitchener-Waterloo makes Riverland ideal for commuters and first-time homebuyers looking to make their homeownership dreams come true.
Home to a growing arts and culture scene, Hamilton – which ranked 11th on MoneySense’s list of best cities to live in, has become a metropolis where young talent and those looking for some creative therapy flock to experience music, art and food. No longer just a small-town suburb, Stoney Creek and the surrounding area have welcomed the vibrancy of new growth. High-end and casual restaurants, cafés, breweries and unique lunch spots pepper Hamilton’s downtown and stretch into surrounding communities. Tucked along the Niagara Escarpment, Lush connects to a network of green that spans along the entire GTA. With access to the Bruce Trail right outside the community’s front door and the scenic Lake Ontario to the north, residents find themselves within a natural wonder of green forests and fresh air providing endless opportunities to get back to nature.
With vast expanses of undisturbed green space, plenty of fresh air and sparkling waters, Binbrook is a welcoming and picturesque backdrop for daily adventures and weekend escapes close to home. A quiet community just 15 minutes from Hamilton’s downtown, Binbrook is well-known for its breathtaking beauty and serenity, an area where country charm amenities come together. Beautiful destinations like Kale Niapenco and Lake Ontario and park spaces like Glanbrook Sports Complex and Fairground Community Park encourage outdoor, active living for walking, running, cycling, cross country skiing, and snowboarding.
Launching Summer 2018, Empire is proud to bring a new release of townhomes and detached family homes to Summerlea Woods in Binbrook. Just 15 minutes from Hamilton and the QEW, this established community offers the ease of small-town living with the conveniences and variety of an urban centre.