Niagara Falls, the iconic group of waterfalls found along the US-Canada border, is shared by its two namesake cities divided by the majestic Niagara River. One city falls within New York State on the United States side of the border while the other is part of the province of Ontario on the Canadian side.
Over the years, the city of Niagara Falls in Ontario has remained a laidback community, with a natural beauty that has been excellently preserved through economic progress and urbanization. Beyond the frenzy of tourists who regularly flock to the area, Niagara Falls, ON is also a thriving community with a strong economy and robust real estate market.
If you’re looking for your next real estate investment or are venturing into the market for the first time, explore the many reasons why you should put your money on Niagara Falls, ON.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NIAGARA FALLS, ON REAL ESTATE MARKET
Niagara Falls is located in Southern Ontario on the western banks of the Niagara River, and is part of the St. Catharines-Niagara Metropolitan Area. From the city, you can view Horseshoe Falls, the largest and most popular of the three falls that make up the famous Niagara waterfalls.
Niagara Falls is part of the Niagara Region, which makes up the southern end of the Golden Horseshoe – a super region where about 20% of Canada’s population live. The Golden Horseshoe also encompasses Toronto and the Peel Region, which have a combined population of approximately 4.5 million.
The city of Niagara Falls has a population of around 94,400 (as of 2021). Much of the northern part of the city is made up of residential areas but the southern portion boasts an expanse of mostly agricultural land.
Niagara Falls real estate trends in 2023
The Niagara Region has consistently maintained a stable real estate market over the years, but it saw unprecedented gains at the height of the pandemic. With the exodus of people from crowded urban areas into suburban communities with plenty of open space, Niagara Falls marked a staggering surge in real estate sales.
In 2021, the Housing Price Index (HPI) in Niagara Falls was $703,600, up around 57.6% from 2020. In 2022, the HPI fell to $617,100, a decline of around 14% from the previous year but still a significant 38.2% increase from 2020. Bidding wars were the norm from 2021 to 2022, with homes for sale staying on the market for only around 16 to 22 days.
Since the start of 2023, the market has been showing signs of a slowdown – a trend that has been observed throughout most North American markets. As the buying frenzy that characterized the pandemic appears to have ebbed, the Niagara Falls market has been normalizing, resulting in conditions that are substantially more buyer-friendly than it had been in the past two years.
As of April, 2023, Niagara Falls registered an HPI of $649,600, a decrease of around 20% from the same period in the previous year. The average days on market are also longer at 28 days compared to last year’s 11 days. However, compared to 2020, the April, 2023 HPI is still higher by around 45.5%.
REASONS TO INVEST IN NIAGARA FALLS REAL ESTATE
As the market today is shaping to be more favorable to buyers, it is now the perfect time to invest in Niagara Falls real estate. Not only have homes here demonstrated appreciating values over the years, developments in and around the area signal more progress for the community, which in turn can further increase the demand for local real estate.
Moreover, the city has intrinsic qualities that make it a highly desirable location for both primary homes and secondary properties, regardless of the market’s condition.
Here are the top reasons why you should consider buying a home in Niagara Falls, ON, whether for your personal use or as an addition to your investment portfolio.
As a gateway to the dynamic Niagara Region, Niagara Falls offers great access to major economic and tourism centers in the area, including St. Catharines, Grimsby, Welland, Fort Erie, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Toronto is only around a 1.5 hour drive away and Mississauga is just over an hour’s drive away.
Niagara Falls’ proximity to the US border also makes it an important regional hub for economic activity and tourism. From the city, you have two options to cross the border – via the Rainbow Bridge which will take you to Niagara Falls, NY and via Peace Bridge which connects to Buffalo, NY. Numerous visitors take these routes every day, along with Canadian and American residents who travel to either country for work or leisure.
AFFORDABLE REAL ESTATE
In the last nine years, home prices in the Niagara Region have increased by around 300%. But despite the tremendous gains in Niagara Falls home prices in 2021 and 2022, real estate in the city – and throughout the Niagara region – is still more affordable compared to other major metropolitan areas.
For example, in the Greater Toronto Area, the average home selling price as of April, 2023 was $1.153 million. This is about 40% higher than the average selling price in Niagara Falls of $693,000. In the Hamilton-Burlington area, the average selling price as of April, 2023 was $806,809, approximately 16.4% higher than Niagara Falls.
There are also a variety of property types to choose from, allowing buyers and investors to find the home that best suits their budgets and preferences. You’ll find charming single family homes in tranquil residential neighborhoods, spacious condos, and multifamily homes where you can live in one unit and rent out the rest. There is also a host of vacant land that’s primed for development or for building a home or rental property from the ground up.
STRONG ECONOMY AND JOB MARKET
Each year, over $100 billion dollars in trade flow between the US and Canada via the Niagara trade corridors. The area is also a designated Foreign Trade Zone Point where businesses enjoy government support, making it an attractive hub for companies of all sizes. Moreover, prior to the closure of the borders due to the pandemic, tourism in the Niagara region has been a $2 billion industry.
As of February, 2023, the unemployment rate in the Niagara Region was 4.3%, lower than Ontario’s 5.1% and Canada’s 5%. In addition to export and related industries in the Niagara trade corridors, the top employers in the Niagara Region are in hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction. The local, regional, and national governments are actively assisting job seekers through portals like The Niagara Falls Employment Help Centre and the Government of Canada Job Bank.
Despite the presence of large corporations, Niagara’s business scene is dominated by small enterprises with only one to nine employees. This highlights the support the community gives to local businesses and the opportunities it offers to small entrepreneurs.
The strong economy regularly attracts new residents to Niagara Falls. From 2016 to 2021 alone, the population increased by 7.2%. This fuels the demand for real estate in the area, which in turn drives home prices up. This means a real estate investment in the city has strong potential to give you good returns when it comes time to sell.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Beyond the location, economy, and employment opportunities, people are drawn to Niagara Falls for the amazing lifestyle it offers. This was especially spotlighted by the influx of migrants during the pandemic. People looking to escape congested urban communities chose to move to Niagara Falls for its combination of green open spaces, convenient modern amenities, and laidback way of life.
Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect from living in Niagara Falls:
- Outdoor attractions and activities
The world-famous Niagara Falls is certainly the crown jewel of the Niagara Region, but the city’s outdoor attractions don’t end there. The area boasts stunning parks and trails where you can do a host of activities, such as biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, bouldering, and more.
Queen Victoria Park is a popular picnic area in the city, with its stunning gardens and amazing vantage points where you can get the best views of the famous waterfalls. Other top parks include Firemen’s Park and Kingsbridge Park where you’ll find scenic hiking trails, paved biking trails, and great spots for bird watching.
The more adventurous can get their fill of adrenaline pumping activities at attractions such as the Wildplay Whirlpool Adventure Course, Ultimate Supercar Experience, and the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. If you prefer a quieter, more relaxing experience, you can visit the exquisite gardens at Queen Victoria Park, Floral Showhouse, and the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.
Niagara Falls has a long winemaking tradition and is considered one of the top grape growing and winemaking regions in the Province of Ontario. Acres of vineyards dot the city’s landscape, creating a bucolic atmosphere with colors that change with the seasons. One of the best things to do in the area is to visit iconic wineries such as Inniskillin Winery, Cave Springs Cellars, Magnotta, Monastery Cellars, and Vineland Estates Winery, and sample the region’s acclaimed wines and spirits.
Shopping in Niagara Falls is a mix of relaxing boutique experiences, bargain hunting at outlet stores, duty free shopping, and discovering unique finds, crafts, and homemade goodies in one of a kind shops. You will also find a number of cannabis dispensaries and stores in the city.
- Cultural attractions and events
There’s always a lively event in Niagara Falls to enjoy. From festivals that celebrate the region’s heritage to theatre productions and concerts by the world’s biggest stars, residents and visitors get plenty of opportunities to get together and celebrate.
The Niagara Folk Arts Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in the Niagara region, highlighting the diversity of the local culture. Wonders of Wood is a local Niagara Falls event featuring a show and competition staged by the Niagara Woodcarvers Association. The city’s Wall of Fame honors past and present citizens who have made significant contributions to the promotion of arts and culture in Niagara Falls.
The city is home to state of the art venues where live performances are staged regularly, such as the Greg Frewin Theatre, Shaw Festival Theatre, and Niagara Adventure Theatre. Exhibits and performances are also hosted by various venues across the city, including the OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls History Museum, Niagara Falls Convention Centre, and Avalon Theatre at Fallsview Casino.
Vibrant Niagara Falls is a nightlife hotspot with a host of clubs, pubs, and bars serving fun and entertainment all night long. Tourists and local revelers flock to Fallsview Boulevard and Clifton Hill District for some of the best nightlife and restaurants in the region. You’ll also find Niagara Falls’ famous casinos, Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara, in these districts.
GREAT POTENTIAL FOR RENTAL INVESTMENTS
As an area frequented by tourists, Niagara Falls offers great profit potential for short term rental property investments. According to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Niagara welcomes around 12 million visitors a year , and with all the exciting attractions and activities the region has to offer, many stay for more than just a view of the falls. The city supports the tourism industry by providing infrastructure that makes it easy and convenient for tourists to get around, as well as encourages them to stay longer and explore more.
Long term rental properties also pose good profit potential in Niagara Falls. Approximately 28.3% of the city’s households are renter occupied, and as more people move to the city, the demand for affordable housing is expected to increase, enhancing the desirability of rental properties.
Rental property investors may also look into providing student housing. There are two universities close to Niagara Falls: Brock University in St. Catharines, and Niagara College, which has a campus in Welland and in Niagara-on-the-Lake. All three campuses are within a 7 to 30 minutes’ drive from Niagara Falls, making the city a convenient housing location for students.
Another advantage investors can get in Niagara Falls is the wide range of properties to choose from, including condos, apartments, single family homes, and multi family homes. With these options, you can find an investment property that best matches your goals, budgets, and preferences.
The presence of top rated and high quality schools in an area always gives investors an edge as families with children will typically look for homes with easy access to good educational opportunities. Niagara Falls ticks this crucial box as it is served by three boards of education comprising dozens of elementary and secondary schools that offer instruction in English, French, or French immersion. These are:
- District School Board of Niagara
- Niagara Catholic District School Board
- Conseil scolaire du district catholique centre-sud
Niagara Falls’ proximity to Brock University and Niagara College also helps stimulate the city’s economy and adds to its desirability to families and students pursuing higher education.
Niagara Falls is continuously evolving, with both the public and private sectors undertaking new developments that can further enhance the quality of life in the city and facilitate business activities.
In 2019, housing starts increased by 77%, ushering in the addition of new housing units to serve the growing population. In addition, new infrastructure projects are underway or in the pipeline, including the following:
- GO Train Expansion
This project is seen to increase GO services in the region, particularly the services between Union Station in Toronto and Niagara Falls. Traveling between these two areas is expected to improve tremendously while accommodating thousands of additional passengers. In addition, the long term vision for the plan includes the improvement of streetscapes, bike routes, and multi use trails, as well as the improvement and addition of select public spaces – all of which can contribute to further invigorating the economy and adding jobs.
- New public healthcare facility
In 2019, the Niagara Region Public Health opened the 21,500 square foot Public Health and Sexual Health Office in the city.
- Niagara Falls Renewable Natural Gas Plant
Touted as the largest renewable natural gas plant in Ontario, this project aims to generate clean energy from landfill waste and in the process generate thousands of jobs and stimulate the economy of the region.
- Paradise in Niagara Falls
Currently under development, Paradise in Niagara Falls is a master planned community that’s estimated to be completed in the 4th quarter of 2025. Encompassing 482 acres, the community will include 213 acres of environmentally protected areas and will offer multiple property types, including luxury homes, bungalows, townhouses, and condos.
GET EXPERT GUIDANCE IN YOUR NIAGARA FALLS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Vibrant Niagara Falls offers excellent opportunities for astute real estate investors, but to succeed in such a dynamic market, it’s important to work with local experts who know the area inside and out. We at The Golfi Team provide that kind of expertise.
Led by Niagara Falls native Rob Golfi, we are the #1 real estate team in Hamilton, Halton, and Niagara in terms of sales volume, achieving sales of over $450 million in just one year. We are also ranked #5 among all brokerages in Canada and #7 among RE/MAX brokerages worldwide. We take pride in our high number of return customers as we commit to ensure every investment is expertly positioned in the market.
Let our track record speak for itself! Learn more about us and what we can do to maximize your return on investment. Call us today at 1.800.288.9184 or 1.905.575.7700. You may also send us an email or leave us a message here to get started.