Art by Neha Sekhon

The average price of a house in Brantford is $275,622 and the best time to buy is within the next 3.4 years. Art by Neha Sekhon

According to MoneySense magazine, Brantford is the forth-best city in Canada to buy real estate.

In a study that tracked communities GDP values, and homes’ ability to appreciate in value, Brantford beat out cities like Hamilton, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo.

According to the article, the average price of a house in Brantford is $275,622 and the best time to buy is within the next 3.4 years.

Brantford Ward 5 councilor Brian VanTilborg says that good real estate is the “little secret” people purchasing homes in Brantford have known for years.

VanTilborg explains that the MoneySense article will likely not impact peoples’ decision to buy a home in Brantford. “A home is the largest purchase a person is going to make in their lifetime and for many the purchasing of a home is out of reach,” VanTilborg says, “So while making us feel good that we have a competitive advantage the article is not going to dramatically impact Brantford.”

During his campaign for a seat on city council this past fall, VanTilborg outlined that student housing was amongst his concerns for Ward 5.

“This ranking may also bring to the attention of entrepreneurial students to group together and invest in a home while they continue their studies,” says VanTilborg, “The property could then be sold to help pay off student debt. The [MoneySense] article opens the mind to creative possibilities.”

Despite Brantford’s MoneySense ranking, affordable housing remains an issue locally.

“The housing situation of students has affected rental properties and affordable housing,” explains VanTilborg, stating that Brantford has an affordable housing shortage.

According to VanTilborg, Brantford needs a  “system to keep track of landlords renting to students who may not be providing responsible services and repairs. While this is an issue for many tenants, the difference for students is that they are here for short periods until the next group of student tenants arrive. After 5 to 10 years of constant student transition, a landlord who doesn’t maintain their property drives down everyone’s quality of life, making these rental locations less desirable.”

“I don’t believe there will be a direct impact on Laurier grads,” says VanTilborg, “There will be some goodwill gained from the article for those who want to come to Brantford and know there is positive economic action happening. However, to be clear, Brantford’s housing Market remained strong throughout the 2008 to 2012 recession.”