The 5 best (and worst) cities to buy property for single homebuyers

Feb 12 2020, 3:28 pm

The Canadian real estate market is varied across the country, ranging in price drastically from the coasts, to the prairies, and popular city centres.

Zoocasa, a Canadian brokerage, recently released a report using data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, looking at 15 regions across Canada analyzing people’s income after tax.

The Prairies offer the most affordable housing in Canada for solo buyers, where apartments can be bought for $200,000.

Saskatoon takes the top spot with down payments averaging at $8,475, with the local income being $36,930, meaning residents would need to save for 2.8 months to buy property.

Regina comes in second place, with a down payment of $8,965, which would take 2.8 months of setting aside funds based on an annual income of $38,768.

Edmonton takes the third spot, with units going for $183,800, requiring a down payment of just $9,190. However, because Edmonton locals earn more than in Regina or Saskatoon — they earn around $42,360 —  it would take them less time to set aside funds to pay for the property at around 2.6 months.

In fourth place is Moncton, NB with an average down payment of $10,120 and in fifth place is Winnipeg with $11,480 for single-homebuyers.

The five most affordable cities for single-homebuyers:

  1. Saskatoon, SK
  2. Regina, SK
  3. Edmonton, AB
  4. Moncton, NB
  5. Winnipeg, MB


On the other end of the scale, the top five most expensive properties for single-homebuyers mostly remain in the west coast and around the GTA.

Taking the top spot is Vancouver, where the average downpayment cost is $40,670, surpassing the median income of single buyers at $33,804.

The second most expensive city is Toronto. The average cost for an apartment in the city is $558,000 requiring a down payment of $30,800, which is almost the median income of $35,294. That means people would need to save for at least 10.5 months if the buyer contributed the entire amount of their savings for the down payment.

Victoria, follows in third with a down payment cost of $26,080, meaning a single buyer earning $33,546 would need to save for just over nine months.

These are relatively higher compared to Canada’s average downpayment, which is currently $24,045.

The fourth most expensive region is Hamilton-Burlington, with an average down payment of $21,995 and then Fraser Valley, BC with a $20,275 cost for single-homebuyers.

Single-person households have become the most common type in Canada and according to Statistics Canada the number of people living alone has doubled from 1.7 million in 1981 to four million in 2016.

This demographic is also more likely to own their own homes, with an ownership rate of 50% – up from 32% in the 1980s – with one in five living in a condo apartment.

The five least affordable cities for single-homebuyers:

  1. Vancouver, BC
  2. Toronto, ON
  3. Victoria, BC
  4. Hamilton-Burlington, ON
  5. Fraser Valley, BC
single home regional purchase


If single-homebuyers are on the lookout for property, it might be time to start looking into the Prairies, or perhaps the east coast, for affordable property.

In Toronto or Vancouver? Good luck.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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