Where to Live Affordably in Canada, and Big-City Dwellers Eye More Affordable Markets

This week’s top real estate stories.

By  Jared Lindzon | 2 minute read

May 31

Wahi's Week in Real Estate

Every Friday, Wahi brings you the most important real estate stories from the past week.

Ontario and Ottawa Play Nice

After months of threats, the Federal and Ontario Provincial Governments are ready to share the sandbox. Earlier this week the Feds and the Ford Government agreed to a $357 million deal under the National Housing Strategy to build affordable housing in the province after months of tit-for-tats. In March, the Feds sent a scathing letter to the province warning that it wouldn’t receive the funds because it was failing to meet housing targets. A second letter in April threatened to circumvent the province and send the cash directly to municipalities. Now both sides have agreed on a deal that emphasizes transparency. 

“Half of all residents in Canada’s three largest cities say the only thing keeping them there is their jobs.”

Canada’s Most Affordable Cities  

There are few places left to hide from housing affordability challenges, but there are still some corners of the country where home ownership is widely attainable. According to a Royal LePage study Thunder Bay, Ont, is the country’s most affordable market based on home prices, mortgage rates, and median household income. Second place’s Saint John, New Brunswick however, featured the lowest aggregate home price, $267,900, but failed to make the top spot due to lower income rates. Red Deer, Alberta, ranked third, followed by Trois-Rivieres, Que., Edmonton, Regina, St. John’s, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Que., and Winnipeg.

Where to Buy in the GTA for Under $1 Million

There was a time when a million dollars was considered a fortune; now you’re lucky to find a home that costs less, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. A new study from Wahi can point you in the right direction. According to the data, Brampton saw the most single-family GTA home sales under a million dollars in April, with 215 transactions at a median price of $917,500. Runner up was Oshawa, where 143 single-family homes went for a median price of $775,000. If you’re searching for a sub-million dollar “bargain,” Durham and Halton are the best places to look.

Half of Big-City Residents Want Out 

Half of all residents in Canada’s three largest cities say the only thing keeping them there is their jobs. According to a recent study by Royal LePage, half of those living in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver would consider leaving to buy property in a more affordable location if they could find a job or work remotely. That number jumps to 60% among renters, while 45% of homeowners would also be open to a move. Edmonton was the top choice for relocation among Toronto and Vancouver residents, while Montrealers wanted to switch to nearby Quebec City or Sherbrooke.

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Condo City Becomes More Townhouse Friendly  

The city with the most high-rises will soon also feature a lot more low-rises. Last week, Toronto City Council voted to allow townhouses and six-story residential buildings with up to 60 units on all major streets in residential areas without the usual rezoning application process. Previously, such developments were limited to specific areas but can now be developed on 31,000 lots throughout the city. The latest change to city bylaws comes just a year after the city voted to allow four-unit multiplexes city-wide, with both changes designed to encourage more homes in the “missing middle” between high-rise condos and single-family homes.

Jared Lindzon

Wahi Writer

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