Besides being the location for a long awaited wedding we attended on the weekend, St. John’s is a very historical city!
On June 24th, 1497 John Cabot sailed on the shores of Newfoundland making St. John’s the oldest English-founded settlement in North America. It’s a city full of history. It’s also only a short distance from the most eastern point in Canada found at Cape Spear. It’s a city filled with friendly people, interesting culture and surprisingly, a booming economy!
Real estate prices in St. John’s are on the rise, for sale signs are on the decline and the attitude of the locals is optimistic.
Many of the people who’d left during the boom years in Alberta are now returning home because there are jobs again.
The weather in St. John’s is not very pleasant most of the year, but what it lacks in climate it makes up for in spirit, culture and charm. From late night celebrations on George Street (yes, we even sang some karaoke at Karaoke Cops), to whale watching in Bay Bulls, to friendly and lively chats with locals …. there is SO much to love about St. John’s.
With the recent oil and gas activity off the shores of St. John’s bringing big bucks into the province, Memorial University continuing to attract thousands of students to the City, and the ongoing fishing industry activity there is a lot going on in the City. So, it shouldn’t be that surprising that vacancy rates are low, the inventory of homes on the market is minimal and prices are on the rise.
Would St. John’s make a good place to invest? Personally, I would love to have a collection of the cute and colourful houses but the time, effort and energy required to fly there from the west coast to check up on them is a little too daunting for us at the moment. It’s a 12 hour trip to get there from Vancouver.
But, there are 5 reasons to like the idea of investing in St. John’s real estate:
- There’s good job growth – mostly in the Oil sector.
- Students continue to struggle to find good rentals – so there is demand for good quality units. According to a recent article in Canadian Real Estate Magazine (September 2009), the 18 – 24 year old segment of the province is a key source of tenants given that 80% of these people are renters.
- A vacancy rate of under 3% means rent rates are on the rise.
- The government doesn’t have a bunch of one sided laws that work against the landlords in the province making it more friendly to an investor than plenty of other provinces in Canada.
- If you’re looking at a two or three unit property there’s a good chance you will be able to generate some decent cashflow from it. While rent rates are still low, you can find good properties in the $200,000 – $300,000 range which will bring in $1400+ in rent – at least that is what we’re estimating given our chats with a local developer and investor. He also suggested that executive style rentals on the water will bring in $1500/month for a one bedroom. The math on that starts to look good if you’re able to secure good financing rates!