Living & Loving the New Niagara!

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With prices rising dramatically over the past number of years in the GTHA and westward, eyes are now on the Niagara Region as the last bastion of affordable living in the Golden Horseshoe.

While traditionally known as a weekend destination for tourists, the Niagara Peninsula is increasingly being seen as a lifestyle destination free of congested traffic and filled with beautiful scenery – to be enjoyed everyday.

Meet Jerry Hendriks, Real Estate Broker and team leader for more than25 years with RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc., Brokerage. With career sales placing him in the Top 1% for RE/MAX worldwide and being a life-long resident of Niagara, he’s gained a lot of insights into the areas changing real estate profile and demographics.

“Young families and retirees are now moving to the Niagara Region’s communities as they search for a great lifestyle and affordable home ownership. The Niagara Region used to see a trickle of Toronto area residents moving here. Now the tap is being turned on full and it’s becoming known as a lifestyle and retirement destination. It’s no longer just about tourism,” says Hendriks.

The Niagara Region’s real estate market activity has seen a huge upswing in the past twelve months. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that as of the second quarter of 2016, the seasonally adjusted average home price in St. Catharines-Niagara area was $305,786 compared to $494,355 in Hamilton and $712,086 in the Greater Toronto Area. Retirees, young families, and professionals looking to slow down their pace are now calling Niagara their new home and investors are taking note.

“We can expect to see continual strong growth for the next two to five years and beyond. More people are becoming aware of the opportunities here. We’re seeing investors moving into the general real estate market as well as the student rental market here as programs at Brock University and Niagara College continue to grow. Rental income returns relative to property acquisition cost is very enticing compared to other areas in Southern Ontario,” says Hendriks. “We’ve just been a little off their radar and that has changed. Investors are diversifying and adding Niagara to their portfolio for a very good reason. The early adaptors will see the greatest benefit of this new real estate market.”

Niagara Region and its stakeholders have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into health, lifestyle, and education infrastructure enhancements which has created a renewed optimism in all communities. As example, St. Catharines recently built a new hospital, a new aquatics centre, and revitalized its downtown with the new Meridian Centre to support the hometown Niagara Ice Dogs for hockey and concert events as well as building a new Performing Arts Centre.

Then there’s that scenery – “from city to the beautiful countryside in minutes,” says Hendriks. The Welland Canal, Niagara River, Crystal Beach along Lake Erie, and the areas many vineyards, combined with these job creating capital projects help make “people feel good about progress in our communities and also attracts new residents. The tide has definitely turned. People love Niagara,” Hendriks adds.

Jerry Hendriks can be reached at 905-651-3475, by email to or online at