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Priced out by an inflated Toronto market, many young professionals are setting their sights on real estate in Hamilton instead. Big houses, spacious lawns, big city amenities and a city-wide revival are drawing in Millennials from across Toronto and the rest of Canada.

According the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in its quarterly Housing Market Assessment, which was issued on April 27, 2016, Toronto is suffering from price acceleration and even overvaluation.  What does this mean? Well, to thousands of Millennials in the GTA it means looking outside of Toronto to buy or rent their first home.

Millennials Tired of Renting and Looking to Own

Rent prices for a two-bedroom condo in Toronto have increased by nearly 10 per cent since last year. On average a semi-detached home in Toronto now costs more than a million dollars – far out of reach for most Millennials.

It is no wonder that Toronto’s property prices have translated into 60 per cent of Millennials saying they are tired of paying rent, and 70 per cent suggesting they would be willing to delay buying their first home until they can afford what they really want.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute found that 45 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds in the GTA are considering leaving in order to find cheaper real estate. To many, that means looking west to Hamilton.

Go West!

For the price of renting a Toronto condo, Millennials in the GTA are able to take out mortgages on spacious Hamilton properties. Rather than throw money away renting, Millennials are choosing to lay down roots and invest in property in Hamilton, which has all the amenities of a big city without the overinflated price tag. But price alone isn’t the only thing bringing Millennials to Hamilton. Other factors include:

Public Transit

The Go Train and other public transit options in Hamilton mean that Millennials will still be able to work in downtown Toronto – or anywhere else in the Golden Horseshoe, for that matter. Living near the GO Train station is an affordable option in Hamilton and being able to walk to and from the GO station is not something you normally get with life in the suburbs.

More Space

It’s not you, it’s me, we just need more space – literally! Millennials are breaking things off with Toronto and looking to buy property with some breathing room. After spending years paying rent to live in a cramped apartment, Millennials want the large houses, lawns and breathing room offered by many older Hamilton homes.

Hamilton’s Revival

Hamilton garnered an unfair reputation for many years as an industrial wasteland but the secret is out. Hamilton is a great place to live! Full of green space, affordable homes, a diverse cultural base and an academic centre, with the influx of young people from across southern Ontario Hamilton is only getting better.

The city is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Mohawk College and McMaster University, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, it’s own CFL team (the Ti-Cats), a thriving arts and music scene and so much more.

The number of Millennials looking to rent or buy in Hamilton is already boosting the real estate market and increasing home values. The creativity and capital these Millennials bring to the city is doing more than boosting the real estate market. Newly moved-in Millennials are also supporting local businesses and helping to revive the city. Relatively inexpensive real estate is now drawing in businesses, who bring with them more young professionals.

Toronto should be worrying about a brain drain as its young people are priced out of the city, but Toronto’s loss could be Hamilton’s gain. Hamilton’s real estate market is already growing at a healthy pace, and with more and more Millennials making the switch from Hogtown to Steeltown, Hamilton real estate is continuing to increase in value.

Mark Maga Real Estate 2016 (c)