Can you still buy a house for under $200K in Ontario?

May 24 2022, 7:55 pm

The idea of buying a house in Toronto for less than $200,000 seems the stuff of pure fantasy as strong demand continues to keep prices high.

Lack of affordable housing is not unique to the city; Canada’s average national home price is $865,100, nearly 30% higher than in early 2020 and almost twice the US median.

In a new study, Point2Homes analyzed where Canadians can find affordable housing. The site used $200,000, about a quarter of the national average price, as a budget benchmark.

In Ontario, the chances of finding an affordable home in a major city are nearly non-existent. Point2Homes found that there were no homes for sale under $200,000 in Toronto, Mississauga, or Brampton.

In fact, there were 29 cities across the province that had zero affordable homes for sale, including Richmond Hill, Markham, and Caledon.

In Waterloo, 0.32% of the homes for sale were priced under $200,000. In Hamilton, affordable options made up 0.24% of listings. In Ottawa, they accounted for just 0.14%.

Of Canada’s 50 biggest cities—the majority of which are in Ontario—Kawartha Lakes had the largest share of listings under $200,000, at 4.80%. It was also the only large city where more than 1% of homes for sale were listed under the benchmark price, Point2Homes said.

“Only about 10% of all homes for sale in Canada are less than $200,000—and very few of them are in major cities, where median home prices are exploding,” the site said.

“However, the chance of finding a home for sale for less than $200,000 increases when zooming in on the most populous cities within a region.”

Potential homebuyers who are willing to look at large cities in Atlantic Canada or the Prairies can “have their pick” of affordable listings. Québec has several options, too,

At 44.20%, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, was the city with the highest share of homes for sale under $200,000. Regina, Saskatchewan, followed, with 36.50%.

“While $200,000 as the new affordability threshold might sound surreal to some, there are silver linings on the Canadian horizon,” Point2Homes said.

“The need for housing caused the national vacancy rate to fall for the first time in 20 years. More importantly, prices began to slow in the spring, with optimistic forecasts of further drops by the end of the year. Here’s hoping.”

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