Buying a home is a major milestone and the largest financial asset for many Canadians – but following a year and a half of “supercharged” market conditions that have driven demand and price growth to new heights, where can prospective home buyers find the best value for their dollar? With the intention of simplifying the complex task of buying a home amid a pandemic, MoneySense, in partnership with Zoocasa, has released the 2021 edition of Where to Buy Real Estate in Canada, revealing which real estate markets offer the best price point, value growth, and overall livability.
As the official data provider for the feature, Zoocasa ranked neighbourhoods and municipalities across 17 regions from coast to coast using proprietary methodology that takes into account average home prices, price growth over time, as well as neighbourhood characteristics and economics. The findings reveal value and demand conditions in housing markets across the nation.
The Best Neighbourhoods to Buy a Home
The findings are especially poignant in 2021, as the concept of home has changed over a year and a half of lockdown restrictions; with many dwellings now serving as workplace, school, and gym, a greater need for space has drawn buyers out of city centres and into further-flung communities. That has introduced new market dynamics not typically seen in smaller locales, such as rapid price appreciation, bidding wars, and supply challenges.
“As the pandemic has made homeownership more important than ever, it has driven new trends in home buying psychology,” states Lauren Haw, CEO and Broker of Record at Zoocasa Realty, in the report. “More buyers are looking to upsize their homes and are looking to markets where it’s most affordable to do so. As well, the ability to work from home has untethered many from living near business centres, and has offered buyers the flexibility to relocate [farther afield] to markets they may not have previously considered.”
According to the ranking, the following municipalities offer home buyers the greatest value in 2021:
Bancroft: 4.5 Stars (average 2020 home price: $292,733, 3-year growth: 78%)
Woodstock-Ingersoll: 4 Stars (average 2020 home price: $443,383, 3-year growth: 67%)
London-St. Thomas: 4 Stars (average 2020 home price: $436,433, 3-year growth: 77%)
The following municipalities ranked the lowest in terms of value and buying conditions:
City of Vancouver: 1 Star (average 2020 home price: $1,056,897, 3-year growth: 3%)
Oakville-Milton: 1 Star (average 2020 home price: $1,116,275, 3-year growth: 14%)
City of Toronto: 1.5 Stars (average 2020 home price: $915,001, 3-year growth: 14%)
Check out the full MoneySense Where to Buy Real Estate in Canada report.