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What’s the most affordable place to buy a home in Ontario?

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The Greater Toronto Area, contrary to popular thought, is not the most unaffordable region in Ontario.

Although the Toronto Real Estate Board reported the average home sold for $785,000 this August, affordability is more than just high housing prices. Rather, it is the relationship between housing prices and the income of residents. These two figures must be aligned in order for a city to be considered affordable.

Zoocasa calculated the required income to purchase the average home in 28 major markets across the province, assuming a 20-per-cent down payment is made at a mortgage rate of 3.14% and a 30-year amortization.

To comfortably afford to carry a Toronto house at that price, the median household income would need to be at least $107,000. But the actual median income is only $66,000 – leaving an income gap of over $41,000.

Now, that’s a large income gap, but it’s not the highest one in Ontario.

Part of the reason Toronto doesn’t top this list is because of the diverse mix of housing. Yes, Toronto has very expensive single-family houses for sale in Etobicoke, but it also has less expensive condos for sale in downtown Toronto.

Instead, the honour goes to Richmond Hill, a city just north of Toronto. There, the average home price is higher, at just under $1 million. A household would need to be earning over $136,000 to afford it, but the median income is just over $88,000, leaving an income gap of about $48,000.

If you want your money to go further, escape the golden horseshoe and head to Northern Ontario, where you’ll find a surplus in your monthly budget.

Thunder Bay and Sudbury are all affordable places to live – median incomes far outpace housing prices, which average under $300,000, and you’ll be able to comfortably pick and choose the perfect home with money left over in the bank.

There are even smaller cities just east of Toronto that remain affordable. Pickering, Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax Peterborough residents make more than enough to afford a home, which are mostly in the $600,000 range.

Want to see more places that are affordable? Check out the infographic below to see the full list and all the details (click to expand):

Infographic for the cheapest homes in ontario

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Affordability driving demand for condos in Toronto

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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw higher sales and demand for condominium units due to increasingly affordable prices.

Data from RE/MAX revealed that the GTA accounted for nearly 37% of the total residential sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). Market share for this segment has been tracking higher since 2013, when the transfer of condominiums covered 30% of total sales.

Seen as the only property segment that rose above the 2017 market correction, the average price of a condominium apartment hiked almost 8% to $551,761 between January and October 2018, up from $512,552 during the same period in the previous year. Townhomes prices were at $571,058, compared to $568,165 in 2017. Meanwhile, prices of freehold properties, including single-detached, semi-detached, attached/row/townhouse, and linked townhomes fell year-over-year.

Despite the rising values, these home types are well-received because most Canadians still found it affordable and a sound choice for investment.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that the increased demand for condo apartments and townhomes was driven by immigration, population growth, and lifestyle choices. 

“Aging infrastructure, combined with a lack of transportation alternatives, longer commute times and the environmental component — with efforts to reduce carbon footprint — have all played a role in buyers choosing condominiums in Toronto proper that are close to both work and play,” RE/MAX noted in a statement.

The most popular area for condominium sales was still the downtown core, with 21.9% sold in the area bordered by Bloor Street to the north, the Lakeshore to the south, the Don Valley Parkway to the east and just past Dovercourt Road in the west.

However, supply remained low, which pushes prices higher.

“Limited inventory continues to place substantial upward pressure on prices, with fewer affordable housing options available — and that includes condominium rentals,” said

Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director at RE/MAX of the Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region.

As a result, buyers tend to avoid the higher prices in the core and turn to condominium communities farther afield instead.

Currently, almost 51% of condominium sales in the GTA are below the $500,000 price point, but it is worth noting that builders and developers are currently facing skyrocketing construction costs and a land crunch within the GTA.

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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