Tag Archives: GTA house prices

The relationship between public transit and real estate investing

The above tweet references an article in the Toronto Star describing the growth of “Go Train Service” in Southern Ontario. This is great news. It will certainly connect communities East and West of Toronto with the downtown Toronto core. It will improve the opportunities to live West of Toronto and commute to the City. At the present time, commuting from Hamilton to Toronto is somewhere between difficult and impossible. (Speaking of Hamilton, there is likely a market for renting to Ontario university students. But, first make sure that are familiar with any zoning bylaws that might affect renting to students.) As always, ensure that your respect the principles for how to select residential tenants.

This will also be good for real estate values. It has become increasingly difficult to afford housing in Toronto proper. Furthermore, there is a huge discrepancy between the cost of owing and he cost of renting. This is traditionally an indicator that the price of real estate is at a high valuation. Would improvements in public transit  make real estate outside Toronto a better investment? I believe that it would.

The article in the Star includes:

Matti Siemiatycki, a University of Toronto professor specializing in urban planning and transit, says the impact of GO expansion on real estate will be felt everywhere along the system. He expects it will be gradual, and will hit some places far more than others.

The overall impact of the investment, though, is hugely positive for everyone, he says. “If you make a place more accessible, people will want to live there.”

Siemiatycki says the transit plan is so big and costly it will take a long time to come together. The pieces include laying track, securing rights of way and co-ordinating space for more passenger trains between freight trains. The plan also means renovating stations, building maintenance yards, buying trains and equipment and adding staff.

Metrolinx spokesman Burke says work is already underway. A third track is being added between the Guildwood and Pickering stations. Construction starts soon on a new East Rail Maintenance Facility that can handle electric trains. A Stoney Creek facility will store, service and maintain trains, as will a new one in Mimico.

In the end, better transit is a high tide that lifts all boats. When it comes to real estate, it’s one more reason to bet on the GTA.

A “high tide that lifts all boats” is good for both owners who live in their homes and for investors.