With a population of over 500,000, Hamilton is Canada’s tenth largest city and is located in the province of Ontario. Just 75 km from Toronto, and within a 1h30min drive to Buffalo, USA, Hamilton is very conveniently located and sits at the west end of the famous Lake Ontario. The city enjoys prominent seasons and a climate that is largely influenced by the lake. Summertime is fairly hot and humid, while the winter months experience cold and often snowy conditions, averaging around -8°C in the height of winter.
Hamilton combines city life with outdoor activities, and is economically very strong with manufacturing being the leading industry. Steel is heavily produced here – in fact, as much of 60% of Canada’s steel comes from Hamilton – and the manufacturing industry is a large source of employment. Agriculture and bioscience are also strong drivers in the economy.
Hamilton’s population is growing, with around 20% of its population not born in Canada. The city has a large Italian community, and English, Scottish, Irish, and German nationalities are prominent too. Hamilton has a large Francophone community and bilingual services and schools. Popular attractions include the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, HMCS Haida, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, the African Lion Safari Park, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. The city has an active arts and culture scene, with a number of theatre companies in the city, as well as a range of historical, contemporary, and modern artwork at the McMaster Museum of Art.
Popular areas in Hamilton include: Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton Centre, Hamilton-East and Hamilton Mountain.
With a thriving real estate market that’s experienced stable growth in recent years, Hamilton is a great option for both first-time and move-up buyers. Labelled as one of Canada’s hottest property markets, Hamilton is very desirable due to its close proximity to Toronto and great transit links. Transport projects have been planned and the GO train services in the region are due to be developed, meaning that it’s possible to commute to other major cities but still enjoy the Hamilton lifestyle and affordable real estate. In 2016, the average house price was $535,000, but old, single-detached homes can be found for around $300,000 in certain areas.
First-time and move-up buyers are taking advantage of Hamilton’s market, and are moving out of Toronto and the GTA in search of more cheaper housing and more space. Detached, single-family homes are popular, and inventory is fairly low due to a greater demand than supply, but developments are planned for Hamilton especially in the Downtown area which should help to ease the pressure. With a strong economy and good employment levels, Hamilton is a popular choice for those looking to enter the property market and is very cheap compared to places like Toronto and Vancouver.
Many people are turning to the Hamilton area in search of cheap housing, especially first-time buyers and young professionals from major cities such as Toronto. It’s possible to find an older, single-detached home in Hamilton for around $300,000, which is much cheaper then other areas of Canada. Prices are rising, along with demand, and more people are moving away from property hot spots such as Toronto and to more urban areas that boast more realistic housing prices.
However, despite Hamilton’s uplift, prices are still relatively low compared to other major cities in Canada. Hamilton’s condo market is thriving, led primarily by young professionals and retirees either looking to enter the property market or looking to downsize. In 2016, condo sales increased by 21% (comprising both new builds and resales), and the Downtown area is very popular due to its positioning close to Lake Ontario and its beautiful views. Areas such as the Old City of Hamilton are considered as more affordable compared to other areas around Hamilton, but are very much in demand. It’s thought that an issue of supply and demand is driving the increase in house prices – with there being more buyers than there are sellers – which is causing a boost in the market.