Photo: James Bombales

There’s been plenty of talk about Toronto’s booming real estate market over the past few months. But according to a new report, five other Ontario cities’ housing markets are going to explode in the next few years.

According to the real estate research organization Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Barrie and Brampton all have the potential to become leading housing markets in the next five years.

REIN measured several economic factors including the GDP, employment and population growth of each market in order to make its selection.

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“On January 25, an agreement was signed to redevelop LeBreton Flats, prime land close to the downtown core of Ottawa,” reads the report. “The plan includes a new LRT station and will move Ottawa’s hockey team to a new home. It is expected that the plan will have a strong positive effect on demand and values.”

Other factors driving the Ottawa housing market? Housing affordability, new transportation infrastructure, and a strong job market.

Kitchener-Waterloo is described as having “overall largely positive fundamentals,” as migration is set to increase to the area in coming years. It’s listed above Hamilton due to its “affordability factor.”

“Kitchener-Waterloo is also benefiting from the Toronto ripple effect by way of Hamilton,” reads the report. “As prices in Hamilton rise, some buyers are choosing Kitchener and Waterloo instead of other, less affordable cities…In terms of housing affordability, according to RBC the region is setting at 35 per cent, well under the Canadian average of 48.7”

Barrie is described as being poised for “inevitable growth,” as it is identified as a key area in Ontario’s growth plan. Finally, Brampton is noted as being “strategically located” close to Toronto, while embarking on several revitalization projects REIN believes will draw in home buyers and investors.

“Revitalization is a theme in Brampton, and a trend REIN expects to increase in coming years,” reads the report. “In January 2018, Brampton announced a downtown ‘reimagination’ project focusing on providing ‘places’ for its citizens to gather, meet and experience.”

While these are the top cities to watch, REIN notes that all markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area will continue to heat up in the coming years.

“Notably, Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing regions in North America, expecting to grow to 13.5 million people and 6.3 million jobs in the next 23 years,” reads the report.

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