toronto expensive housing

Toronto home buyers have it tougher than almost anywhere else in Canada

With Toronto well-established as one of the most overvalued housing markets in Canada, it shouldn't come as any earth-shattering surprise to hear that the city was just ranked among the most challenging places to invest your money in a place to live.

The latest Where to buy Real Estate in Canada report from MoneySense in partnership with Zoocasa Realty highlights what many of us already know: Toronto is basically a money pit when it comes to buying a home.

The report rates cities with a star ranking system. Like your Uber rating, five stars is where you want to be, and a 0-star rating is about as bad as it can get.

Luckily, Toronto isn't at the absolute bottom of this scale, unlike Vancouver, which received a dismal zero score, its average 2021 home price soaring to $1,230,200 with a three-year growth of 19 per cent.

Unfortunately, Toronto wasn't too far behind, failing to even register a full one-star rating. The City of Toronto's embarrassing 0.7-star rating is the product of a completely unaffordable average 2021 home price of $1,023,029, a painful three-year price growth of 34 per cent.

The problem seems to radiate out from Toronto and across the region. In fact, four of the five worst places to buy in terms of value and buying conditions are within the Greater Toronto Area.

Vancouver's zero-star ranking may be the worst in all of Canada, but it says a lot about the GTA region that all of the other lowest-ranking cities in the country can be visited in a single day using GO Transit.

After Toronto's second-lowest 0.7-star ranking, the most inhospitable markets are Oakville-Milton with 0.9 stars; Mississauga with 1.1 stars; and Burlington with 1.3 stars.

Oakville-Milton's third-lowest ranking is the result of an average 2021 price of $1,516,800 and a three-year growth of 66 per cent. That is a whole lot more expensive than in Toronto, but differences in home sizes and types mean that this neck of the woods offers more bang for your buck than the big city.

Mississauga didn't fare much better, coming in at the fourth-worst place for prospective buyers with an average 2021 home price of $1,202,300 and three-year growth at 51 per cent.

The fifth worst place to buy, Burlington's 2021 average home price of $1,243,787 was actually pricier than both Toronto and Vancouver, ranked the two most punishing markets.

So if you think you can escape high prices and secure a safer investment by fleeing the city, you might need to look beyond the surrounding region to find anything approaching affordability.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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