Toronto’s bus fleet is about to get a huge boost—and so are property values.
All three levels of government are investing $934mln in 1,738 buses, of which 695 are already in use but will be revitalized, and that’s good news for homeowners.
“Historically, any time new public infrastructure is announced and developed, prices tend to go up,” said Christopher Alexander, REMAX Integra’s vice president and regional director for Ontario-Atlantic Region. “Not everybody has access to a car and people need to get around. Especially in today’s Southern Ontario, traffic is becoming more and more of an issue and now that they’re going to make a significant investment in Toronto, this is going to be huge for the city and the province. People need to move and all historical numbers show property values tend to rise.”
Southern Ontario is replete with examples of what happens to property values upon infrastructure announcements like Toronto’s.
“Investors start to think about making their next purchase in a neighbourhood,” continued Alexander. “Vaughan is a great example; as soon as they announced new GO infrastructure and new subways, property values skyrocketed. Same with St. Catharines, Hamilton, and Scarborough—all those cities that have had recent improvements have all seen positive appreciation.”
While the new and revitalized buses will alleviate strain on Toronto’s transit network, valuation increases won’t be as high as they would be if other infrastructure were being developed.
“A bus doesn’t have the ability to move as many people as a subway or train does,” said Alexander. “It’s not as valued as other forms of transit, but it still improves the area and it goes back to livability and allowing citizens to have the ability to move around who don’t have access to vehicles. Frankly, it might be easier to take a form of public transit than driving sometimes.”
Sara Gaggi, an Engel & Völkers Richmond Hill sales agent, says that ameliorated transit infrastructure isn’t just great news for end-user homeowners.
“Easier access to transit is always beneficial to the public,” she said. “In terms of land ownership, it increases rental potential for property investors in both land value and rental values. Also, it opens the door to redevelopment of these properties.”