When you consider the rate of development and investment today, purchasing a home is always a risk in todays market. You never know what might happen to the real estate market, whether it will collapse or grow. However, if you are looking to purchase and move to a new home in Ontario, just follow current trends. Do some research into the current real estate situation and then make your decision. To help further your cause, we will provide you with a list of the best cities in Ontario for buying a home. After that, it’ll just come down to acquiring the assistance of professional movers.
The criteria for the best cities in Ontario for buying a home
There are many factors that influence this list of top Ontario cities, and we take them all into consideration. After all, what good is cheap real estate if the overall household income is low? And what use do you have of a home in a city where you can’t find work to support your family and yourself? So you see, it’s not just a matter of price but of practicality as well. Ontario does demonstrate potential when it comes to popular destinations for long distance moves from other provinces (or even countries). And so, the criteria we use in our analysis comes down to:
- Employment Rate
- Average Household Income
- Average Mortgage Payment
- Real-estate Prices on Average
Top 5 best cities in Ontario for buying a home
1. Thunder Bay
The city of Thunder Bay was once an integral stop for Canada train and truck routes, and was so named Canada’s Gateway to the West. And it is no real surprise that it has reached the top among the best cities in Ontario for buying a home.
After all, it has been gradually rebuilding itself as an economic center. As a result, the generation of job positions in medical, educational and government sectors has grown significantly. This boost in work opportunities has shielded the city from the nation-wide price drops in manufacturing and resource sectors. And this is an impact that Thunder Bay has achieved not only in Ontario, but in Canada generally. The largest employers are:
- Regional Health Sciences Centre
- Lakehead District School Board
- Lakehead University
And all these are followed closely behind by the City of Thunder Bay and the Government of Ontario.
All in all, the residents of this city have marked high purchase power. The average household income stands at a reasonable $81,000. All the while, the home prices in the city remain exceptionally affordable. The average 2015 home cost just under $216,000, a little over two and a half times the average household income. Compare that to Toronto where homes are six times the average household income and Vancouver where they are nine times. You should now realize why we regard Thunder Bay so highly in our recommendation for real estate purchase in Ontario.
Brantford is another city that struggled in the wake of the Great Recession, and is now recovering impressively. The southern Ontario city, on the distant fringes of the Greater Toronto region, grew its number of jobs by a stunning 10.3 per cent in the past year, pushing the jobless rate down to 4.7% — the sort of jobless rates Alberta used to enjoy before the oil crash.
$386,716 – this was the average housing price last January. But if you want to purchase, you best hurry it along. The average house price jumped by 20.9 per cent over the past year, as Greater Toronto residents move ever farther out in search of affordable housing. The way this is progressing, homes below $400,000 may not last long there if trends keep up.
The city across the river from Detroit struggled through some hard times in the wake of the Great Recession, but that seems to be behind it now. Employment in the city jumped by 3.8% over the past year, and its jobless rate dropped to 5.4%, down from 8.9% just a year earlier.
What’s more, it has some of the lowest home prices of any mid-sized city in Canada. Even with prices up 9.2% in a year, homes in Windsor-Essex County averaged $217,926 in December — practically free, by Toronto and Vancouver standards.
Also known as the Steel Capital of Canada, Hamilton has proven to be a good destination for young professionals. Not only does the industry presence provide job opportunities, but the city itself is very welcoming. It is a very colorful place filled with artists, hipsters and yuppies. Hamilton is the Harlem or Queens for Toronto.
House prices in Hamilton are continuing their decline from April’s high, according to a report released Friday by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington. The average real estate price in October was $452,600. Compared to April’s median sale price of $535,000, that’s a 15.4% decrease.
If you were to ask MoneySense, Guelph would be at the top of the list of best cities in Ontariofor buying a home! It is eclectic, fun, safe and beautiful. The number of areas where you can be on a trail in the woods, a park, or a conservation area, meanwhile right in the city without barely realizing, is incomparable. Most areas are a 5-10 minute drive to a river where you can drop a canoe/kayak, fish, take your dog for a swim etc.
Homes in Guelph go for about $441,000, which is more than four times the average household income.
Still, as important as affordability is, cheap house prices alone don’t make for a healthy housing market. A strong housing market should offer some income potential, sustained price growth, and a strong economy to support it. Guelph excels in each of these areas.
Predictions for best cities in Ontario for buying a home
CMHC has predicted that average prices in 2018 won’t be “much higher” than this year’s average price.
But 2017 average price was still “significantly higher” than 2016. This was in part because prices rose so extremely in the first quarter of 2017 before the provincial government instituted new rules aimed at soothing the housing markets in Toronto and Hamilton.
Here are the factors economists are looking at that could affect which end of the price range the market lands on:
- Prices will be toward the higher end of that range if demand is greater than expected for steady mortgage rates, higher job opportunity rates or affordable housing.
- Prices will be toward the bottom end of that range if prices drop in Toronto. This will result in fewer buyers coming in to the above mentioned current best cities in Ontario for buying a home.