Im a REI living in Toronto looking to buy their first property! Im aware of the economic risks associated with investing in Sault ste. Marie (SSM) , but the provincial government and city seem to be focused on revitalizing the community! While it does have a university and college present, has anyone had any experience investing in this area? SSM could be promising in the long run and despite its not so nice history, the future seems bright!
Hi Ashdale. I grew up in the Soo. Currently living in the gta, like yourself. I have been investing here for the past couple years.
Sault Ste. Marie is an old city with a high vacancy rate, declining population, poor tenant quality, and will never see any meaningful appreciation. The positive is the cheap housing prices. If you can’t afford anything else then it’s better than doing nothing. You may have a tough time getting a pm you can trust and it will be difficult to make your first couple purchases unless you know the area well. I regret some of my initial purchases and I would be much better off if I had invested elsewhere. The cash flow is good when you actually get the rent and make the expensive repairs to these old buildings but the lack of appreciation really sucks so I’m back to investing in St. Catharines instead.
I do hope the city revitalizes itself. They are trying to stop the declining population and have a plan to reverse the trend and get to 100k people but I have my doubts. It seems like they are always striving to improve and not really getting anywhere.
Hey @Ashdale Pitter and @Tyler Walker I wanted to reopen this discussion, as I recognize it is over a year old. In the last year I have seen some (in my opinion) significant changes to the Sault Ste Marie market, and surrounding area.
Observation 1: It appears that properties are selling fast, and regularly above market value. The other day I put an offer on a rental unit and within the day there was 14 offers, and the house went for 18k (12%) above asking price to an all-cash buyer.
Observation 2: With the COVID trend of people wanting to move out of the 'big city' (Toronto) and into 'safer' locations SSM appears to be one of the locations people are migrating towards (along with Northbay, and Sudbury). Due to the price different between Toronto and SSM, retail buyers are seeing the pricing and they are 'great' deals to them, even though they have climbed this past year
Observation 3: With material prices up, you would expect new builds to slow down, however in my conversations with GC's and builders they are slammed trying to keep up with the build demand.
I would agree with Tyler that there are definitly portions of the city that I would not invest in. I personally am looking for rentals within a few km's of either Sault College or Algoma University because both those schools are focusing on attracting more international students. I am able to find places that are hitting the 1% rule.
I look forward to more thoughts on this area
I’m joining the discussion as I’m really interested in purchasing in SSM but I have some doubts as well due to the populations decreasing.
Since you posted do you have any feedback or experience in the subject?
Although this is a three month old thread, but its still fresh opinion about the Soo market.
You are right it has a huge potential for student rental, just one need to aware of the area they are investing. I have heard some part of downtown should be avoided and else we can find a good tenants and good cashflow from there.
If you have more suggestions, please share because i am also looking to invest in that city.
Looking forward for more thoughts on this.
@Habib Sarr have you studied the Soo market more, please share your experience