National average home cost not enough to buy 3 bedroom in most major cities

Jul 12 2018, 12:49 am

It’s no secret that homes in Canada’s are not cheap, especially in large urban centres. Now, a new report from the online real estate marketplace Point2Homes paints a picture of what the average national home price (set in April at $495,000) can get you across the country.

“To get a better picture of the cities that offer more bedrooms and those in which density is putting its stamp on available space, we decided to zoom in on Canada’s 50 biggest cities,” said Point2Homes. “We used the national average home price as a reference point, to determine how many bedrooms one can buy across the country.

The report found that on a nation-wide level, the Canadian average home price ($495,100) buys 3.3 bedrooms.

However, in almost half of the country’s 50 largest cities, this price tag secures less than 3 bedrooms. Moreover, the six priciest real estate markets in Canada don’t even guarantee 2 bedrooms for that amount of money.

Here’s the breakdown of Canada’s four largest urban centres:

Vancouver “redefines scarcity”

In Western Canada’s largest city, the local home price reached $1,480,712, meaning the national average price will buy just one bedroom.

“One bedroom in trendy Vancouver might sound like a fantastic idea to many young professionals; however, the market is far from being so simple,” said Point2Homes. “Location and amenities play a major factor in pricing, not to mention that few homes are available for the average national price – roughly only 1% of Vancouver’s inventory is listed around that price point.”

The report also noted that in a “thoroughly unaffordable market such as Vancouver,” $495,100 will most likely buy one bedroom that is part of a larger condo or home, meaning buyers need to spend significantly more to own a full residence, be that a detached house or a condo.

Toronto offers 2.1 bedrooms, but more “lifestyle options”

If smaller cities don’t offer much in the way of entertainment, “lifestyle-heavy locations such as Toronto might do the trick,” said the report.

There is one drawback, however: the national average home price won’t get you too far in Toronto.

The city’s popularity, paired with its economy and lifestyle diversity, mean that buyers can afford only two bedrooms here. “Toronto’s condo boom is also a major factor in the lower number of bedrooms that buyers can score,” said Point2Homes.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, November 2017 saw a whopping 141% year-over-year increase in condo sales.

In fact, Toronto currently ranks as the national leader in new condo construction, with more than 13,000 out of the city’s 15,112 new home starts being condo units.

Calgary offers “perfect blend”

In Calgary, buyers can enjoy 3.3 bedrooms, as well as a wealth of options, with over 300 properties on the market for that price point.

However, Point2Homes note that “those interested in the extra elbow room will have to sacrifice the range of lifestyle options,” found in larger centres such as Toronto.

Montreal is Quebec’s “least generous” city

At only 2.7 bedrooms for $495,100, Montreal doesn’t offer much more space than some of Canada’s most expensive markets.

However, this Quebec city has the second-highest number of homes for sale for the national average price (over 300 listings on the market).

Home buyers from all the other Quebec cities on this list are potentially looking at more than three bedrooms for $495,100, with Sherbrook, Terrebonne and Lévis buyers being the most fortunate. In those locations the national average home price can secure them four bedrooms or more.

See also
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