According to a report released by RE/MAX, Canada’s cannabis industry has increased home sales and prices, particularly in Eastern Canada, where there’s a greater number of large-scale cannabis producers.
Smiths Falls, Ontario, home to Canopy Growth, one of the largest cannabis producers in the world, now employs 1,300 people and has a market value of more than $11 billion.
“The impact of Canopy Growth on Smiths Falls cannot be understated, and it’s growing,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “The economy in the Rideau-St. Lawrence area is experiencing a boom, which is triggering home sales, which rose by 27.1 per cent year-over-year, and average prices increased 10.5 per cent. Demand is up and there’s a housing shortage in the region. We expect to see similar cannabis industry-related growth in other regions as well.”
The Windsor-Essex region saw home sales increase by 7.82 per cent and average prices rose 9.10 per cent year-over-year in September 2019 as a result of Aphria employing 1,000 people in Leamington, Ontario.
In Atlantic Canada, the area surrounding Wentworth, Nova Scotia will be of interest, where Breathing Green Solutions is in operation. Similarly, Zenabis Global Inc. in Atholville, New Brunswick employed more than 420 people from the town and neighbouring communities.
“The legal cannabis industry is already being credited with invigorating some lagging economies and as a result, those housing markets could soon see a flurry of activity,” said Alexander.
RE/MAX states that the west is seeing a much heavier influx of cannabis retailers compared to Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Calgary alone has more than 50 retail locations and Greater Vancouver has 23, whereas Toronto has only six. None of these markets have seen a meaningful impact on real estate activity or values.
This is despite the results of a RE/MAX consumer survey, which found that 65 per cent of Canadians would not like to live near cannabis retail stores.
“It appears that there were a lot of anticipated reservations surrounding cannabis retail and the negative impacts on local property values that did not come to pass. We have not seen a decrease in home sales or prices that can be attributed to legal cannabis,” says Alexander. “In fact, the opposite may be true. As the retail footprint grows and diversifies into edibles and other formats, buyers and sellers may start to feel less resigned.”
A RE/MAX consumer survey found that two in 10 Canadians already live in proximity to one and 72 per cent of them say living near one is not a factor in their decision to move.