Finding the right place to put down roots and call home can be challenging. It’s tricky to balance all of your needs and wants, especially if you’re also part of a relationship or have a family. Ontario real estate is no stranger to the market changes we’ve been seeing across Canada, but there are certainly cities in our province that hold appeal. One of these locations is right here in Barrie!
As a mid-sized waterfront city, Barrie is a nice mixture of big and small, and urban and nature. Let’s take a look at the Barrie market, and how the city performs in terms of the economy, safety, and entertainment.
Easy access to the GTA
For people who work in Toronto, living downtown isn’t often an option thanks to huge housing costs. Barrie is a wonderful place for commuters to settle, or even for people who want easy access to the big city for fun. Barrie is about an hour north of Toronto, and with Highway 400 nearby, this makes it simple for people to hop on the highway and drive downtown. Plus, Barrie has a GO Station with access to Union Station from Allandale Waterfront, for those who don’t want to deal with driving into the downtown core. If you’re wondering whether the cost of commuting is too overwhelming, it still works out to be cheaper than paying for Toronto prices. Even with the cost of gas, Toronto rent and housing costs are more expensive.
Things to do
Located on the waterfront, Barrie is a beautiful city with lots of activities to keep you busy. Situated on Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie combines nature with a charming downtown feeling in the busier core. Barrie’s main downtown area has several shops and restaurants to explore, and growth in the city means more entertainment. If you’re feeling more like getting in touch with nature, head towards the waterfront to enjoy the parks and trails, or rent a canoe or bike for some exercise. Barrie combines cottage country vibes with a growing, bustling city. You can read more about things to do here.
Barrie was not immune to the difficulties of COVID-19, and of course the economy suffered some setbacks as a result. However, Barrie’s overall trend is one of economic growth and developing diversity. Industrial construction and job growth were on an upward trend in 2018 and up until the pandemic hit in 2020. More businesses were finding their place in Barrie, as its location made it a good spot for businesses to be near Toronto without paying Toronto prices. The recovery from the pandemic has been gradual, but definitely trending in the right direction.
Barrie consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in Ontario and Canada. The results of Statistics Canada’s 2020 Violent Crime Severity Index showed Barrie had the lowest numbers in the country. Over the last decade, Barrie’s crime rate dropped 33 per cent, a huge result on its own and especially when compared to the national average of 14 per cent. Another 2020 report from Statistics Canada showed 90 per cent of Barrie residents felt confident in their personal safety. Most crime and safety-based data are in line with or above national averages.
What about the housing market?
Of course, one of the biggest factors of moving anywhere is the housing market. Today, with market conditions constantly feeling unsteady, you may be wondering how Barrie is performing. According to Zolo, the average price of a home in Barrie is currently $759,000. This is a 2.7 per cent monthly decrease and 16.1 per cent quarterly decrease. With inflation and rate hikes, there are fewer buyers on the market, reducing demand and prices. Housing inventory is increasing as well. Like most other cities, buying a home in Barrie means more supply and lower prices, but it also means higher interest rates. Buyers looking at detached homes, condos, and townhomes are all in the same boat. Buyers in Barrie certainly have options in terms of property type and price ranges, but they do need to prepare for higher rates.
Making the move to any new city is a big decision that requires a lot of thought. It’s important to consider housing needs, personal safety, budget, and overall feelings of contentment. Barrie is a great option for many buyers who are looking for a city that has a bit of a slower pace, but still offers lots of big benefits.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!