How the Light Rail Transit Will Affect Real Estate in K-W
In the past few years, Kitchener-Waterloo has undergone drastic changes, growing into a modest city with diversified business infrastructure, more central residential apartments, and a plethora of entertainment and restaurant options to increase the quality of life of its residents.
Waterloo Region is currently home to 550,000 residents, living in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich, and North Dumfries, and our region is still growing by over 10,000 people each year! At this rate, the population will exceed 750,000 in 20 years.
The Light Rail Transit (LRT) was a multi-million dollar investment intended to improve transit in Waterloo Region, and bring all of the area’s top hubs closer together. This initiative will significantly affect real estate along the LRT line, and we’re here to explain exactly how.
5 ways the LRT will affect your property value
1. Contain urban sprawl while better developing central locations
The objective of the LRT is to contain urban sprawl and build up the centre and core of the region. By focusing on building up, rather than out, we protect the farmlands and agriculture within our region.
This also helps with the maintenance of groundwater. With construction focused on enhancing Kitchener’s Downtown and Waterloo’s Uptown, developing businesses will keep their roots in the area, and residential space will increase.
2. Draw in more business and residential investments
Over the next 20 years, this plan will develop the transit corridor at the centre of Waterloo Region. With the LRT system in place, Waterloo Region will quickly and successfully adapt to the increase in residents, visitors, and commuters.
This will steadily draw more business and more developers, increasing the quality of living in the area. As the region grows and builds, the properties in the outside areas will also increase in value.
The LRT itself should add value to the area too, as it increases the speed and quality of transit in the region. While this helps commuters, it also helps reduce traffic, making the region better for everyone.
3. The ION - LRT connection
The LRT will be fully integrated with existing local public transit, including GRT buses and the ION system. While many have questioned the need for the LRT at this time, GRT ridership reached 22 million riders per year four years ahead of the 2016 target in 2011.
With an estimated 25,000 riders per day on the 7 line and iXpress mainline routes, there is no doubt that an LRT system would alleviate traffic of the Region, especially in the central core. This will make using public transit in these areas more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable.
4. Extended construction times still going
There have been a number of delays throughout the construction process, slowing down the completion of the project. Delays in acquiring materials, including the light rail vehicles has also slowed the process significantly. The transit system is now scheduled to be completed in December of 2018, essentially a year and a half after the original scheduled completion.
This means that anyone living in the central locations of the LRT constructions while it continues will have this added difficulty while trying to sell their home. Learn more about why there will be no LRT service until December from The Record.
5. What this means for homeowners
The region has seen steady growth in population, motivating residential and commercial construction and development. This has drawn more people to the city, helping to continue the cycle. As homeowners in the region have already seen, this is a good climate for real estate.
As Kitchener-Waterloo develops, the housing market will grow in turn, ensuring that homeowners are able to get a return on their investment when selling in the future. Even if you plan on staying for many years to come, a community with rich infrastructure, a booming tech startup industry, and growing venues for entertainment is a great place to live. With continued development for the foreseeable future, the region will continue to offer more to residents.
The LRT is a direct response to this, making sure that KW can withstand the increase in population and traffic to come in the next decade. The speed, efficiency, and convenience of the LRT system should increase demand within the real estate market, drive up home prices, and increase quality of living for those here. Unfortunately, we’re just in the period where its continuous delayed construction causes many issues for its residents.
To see more about the impact on the region and details about the project, read the story of rapid transit in Waterloo Region.