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The average income for residents of Barrie has been growing steadily, supporting higher real estate prices and higher rents. This helps to explain why the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) identified Barrie as the fourth best place in Ontario to invest in real estate in 2013. Barrie has been ranked in the top five communitites in the past
In 2012, the average household income in Barrie was $84,300. This represents strong growth over 2011 household income which was just $80,928. In addition the participation rate in the local economy was 73.2%, giving Barrie the distinct honour of having the highest participation rate in Canada.
The growth in household income can be partly attributed to the increasing number of white collar jobs in the financial and technology sectors. Recently, IBM opened a data center in Barrie, just one example of how Barrie's high tech job market is growing.
Tourism and manufacturing round out the Barrie economy. While heavy manufacturing has been in decline, light manufacturing still provides many jobs and helps to keep Barrie's unemployment rate relatively low. The unemployment rate has dropped from 9.5% in 2010 to 7.1% today.
Barrie is increasingly appealing to high income earners, due to its picturesque Simcoe bay setting, outdoor recreational opportunities, a revitalized historical downtown, and proximity to both cottage country and the GTA. Some high income earners who work in the GTA have chosen to make Barrie their home, helping to drive up home prices and rents.
The recent income and employment trends suggest Barrie is a great real estate investment opportunity today and in the years to come.
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