The perfect storm for any real estate investor is supply and demand. Investors look for areas with population growth and low real estate vacancy rates which is exactly the combination at play right now in Collingwood and the Southern Georgian Bay Region. A closer look suggests that the trend is likely to continue for many years to come and here is why.
The Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe is an approved Provincial legislation that provides targets and a framework for development in various areas of the Province.
The plan identifies Collingwood as a primary settlement area with a population target of 33,400 residents 11 years from now in 2031. The last census (2016) showed we had a population of just under 22,000 so the plan is targeting a population increase of over 50% over a 15 year period. Although the Province has not yet released the targets for 2041, Town staff expect that number to be between 40,000 and 42,000 people; almost double what we have today in just 21 years from now.
Think about what that means in regard to traffic, new development, and necessary services to support that increase. It is a lot! It also means big demand for an expanded labour force and likely this will continue to translate into large numbers of people needing to find rental accommodations.
For people who already live here or who aspire to live in our wonderful community, it can be scary. Nothing remains constant and change is inevitable which not everyone likes. We know that when people move here, they would really like to pull up the draw bridge behind them and call it full. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. We are and will continue to grow significantly and the real question is, how will we manage that growth in a way that retains what we all love about the town?
Collingwood has a forward-thinking council who very much have this issue on their radar. They are currently engaging in an update and complete review of the Official Plan followed by a new Zoning Bylaw. They are asking themselves the same questions we all have. What kind of community do we want to be and how do get there? Citizens are engaged and organizations like the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay, the Georgian Triangle Development Institute and others actively contemplate and input.
The future is beckoning investors to come and we’re seeing it every day in the real estate world here. Now you know why.