Home Canada Real Estate Ontario’s Best & Worst: Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent & Greater Sudbury Homebuyers Get Most Space for $400,000
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Ontario’s Best & Worst: Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent & Greater Sudbury Homebuyers Get Most Space for $400,000

In the province's 27 other large cities, affordable home prices go hand in hand with space scarcity: $400k barely buys a decent amount of space.

by Andra Hopulele
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5 min. read
  • After reaching a peak of nearly $930k in May, the average home price in Ontario dropped to $855,990 in October, nearly equal to the same month in 2022 and very much out of the financial league of at least half the buyers in Toronto, not to mention the less expensive cities in the province.
  • This means $400k, which is roughly half the province’s average home price, could better reflect what the typical Ontario homebuyer might afford
  • With prices per square foot ranging from $302 to $1,013, half the province’s average home price would go a very long way in some cities, while barely moving the needle in other major urban hubs.
  • Homebuyers in Toronto, Oakville and Vaughan face the bleakest prospects: $400k would buy less than 500 square feet of living space.
  • However, affordable space doesn’t seem to be an issue in Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent and Greater Sudbury, where this same amount could get buyers 1,000 square feet or more.

 

For Toronto, Oakville and Vaughan home seekers, a $400k homebuying budget is almost a nonstarter. Buyers in Ontario’s most expensive cities truly drew the short stick when it comes to living space: Half of the average home price in the province would barely buy a one-bedroom condo.

What’s more, it’s not only that this amount would secure very little space in most of Ontario’s largest cities, but it’s also practically impossible to find homes around this price point anymore. So, buyers here are facing a tough choice — crammed quarters for less money or a more decent amount of elbow room, but for all the money in the bank.

However, other prospective buyers are slightly luckier. Those who live in Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent and Greater Sudbury — or who are willing to move there — have a more than fair shot at finding spacious homes.

 

Thunder Bay Buyers Can Get 3 Times More Space Than Toronto Buyers

Despite the recent deceleration, home prices in Canada’s largest cities are much higher than a year or even just a few months ago. The average selling price of a home that sold in October was nearly $657k, up from $630k last year. Ontario is no exception. After reaching and crossing the million-dollar threshold in the first quarter of 2022, home prices in the province started sliding and then going back up.

Of course, this means the price per square foot is also exploding, forcing those who are looking to buy to settle for increasingly smaller homes, or dish out increasingly more outrageous sums of money.

This impossible choice is hitting buyers in three cities much harder than in other places: In cities like Toronto, Vaughan or Oakville, $400k might buy a one-bedroom condo. As a result, buyers have to think about, weigh and calculate every move, down to the most minute detail of the homebuying process if they want to buy a home that doesn’t break the bank (or is too small to even truly consider).

Alternatively, they could move to Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent or Greater Sudbury. With prices per square foot as low as $400 and even $300, half of the average home price in the province could get buyers here up to three times more space than in Toronto.

Even Ottawa — where the average home price is hovering around $600k — offers more than double the space available to the typical Toronto buyer. That’s because the price per square foot in the country’s capital is below $500, whereas Toronto simply stands in a league of its own with an average price per square foot of more than $1,000.

In fact, as long as buyers are willing to stay away from Toronto, they could get much more living space for the same amount of money. Although the benchmark home price in all the cities surrounding Toronto is above $1 million — with Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham and Oakville even surpassing Ontario’s most populous and popular city — they all offer more space for $400k than Toronto.

Yet, for most buyers, moving to another city, town or even suburb isn’t really an option. While some home seekers, who would truly love to own their own place, might consider buying in cities or towns that offer more bang for the buck, most buyers would never trade the lifestyle opportunities that the largest, busiest cities offer for more living space. This means they might gladly settle for less room to roam in exchange for access to the big city life.

In the end, Ontario does have something for everyone — provided buyers truly know their priorities.

 

 

 

Methodology

As one of the top real estate listing portals for the Canadian market, Point2Homes.com connects real estate agents with buyers looking for the perfect home or real estate investment. Point2 is a trustworthy source of news for professionals and journalists covering real estate topics across Canada.

  • This study considered the 30 largest cities in Ontario (in terms of population).
  • Data regarding price per square foot was compiled based on a mix of sources, such as realtors’ associations, brokerages, and listing portals like REALTOR.ca, redfin.ca, c21 and more. The space one could buy for roughly half the average home price was then calculated by dividing $400,000 by the price per square foot in each city.
  • Per available data, Toronto refers to Toronto Downtown.

 

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