Canadian Real Estate – The Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Buy in 2022
Are you feeling the squeeze of Canada’s high home prices? You’re not alone. With the roller coaster the Canadian real estate market rode through the pandemic, prices rose by record numbers. Not to worry – we cover the Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Buy in Canada in 2022.
As interest rates go up, we’re seeing the market cool off and prices moderate. That’s good news for a healthy housing market, but prices are still high.
This is especially true in our urban centers, like Toronto and Vancouver, and their suburbs. That’s not really anything new for people moving to Canada. It has always been more expensive to live in or near our biggest cities.
We’re also experiencing high inflation. The increased cost of living cuts into potential homebuyers’ financial reserves. It also makes them wary of taking on a big mortgage.
So what’s a new homebuyer to do? The answer for Canadians is to look for the most affordable housing markets and relocate. More and more people are willing to move to buy an affordable home.
What is an Affordable Home?
Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Buy
We’ve talked quite a bit both recently and in the past about issues with affordable housing availability across the country. Let’s talk a bit more about what an affordable home is to Canadian homebuyers.
A recent RE/MAX survey asked Canadians what it means to them. They responded that they want a home they can afford that provides both basic needs and some livability elements. Those elements differ depending on who you ask but can include green space or nearby schools or restaurants.
Some survey-takers defined an affordable home in terms of cost against their income. 18% of respondents put acceptable cost at 30-40% of their monthly income used for housing costs including mortgage payments.
Everyone will have a different specific definition of an affordable home. The survey responses help us find the places in Canada where people are most likely to find a home that meets their needs and budget.
Today we’re going to take a look at the top ten most affordable places to buy a home in the current Canadian real estate market. If you’re living in Canada or moving to Canada and looking to enter the housing market without breaking the bank, you’ve come to the right place.
RE/MAX chose these ten places based on cost. In every one of these locations, you can buy a home using less than 40% of the area’s average income. Let’s see where we’re going!
Coming in at number ten is Winnipeg. In Manitoba’s capital city the average home price is $437,460. This represents a monthly mortgage cost of about $2,104, or 39.1% of the average monthly income. Winnipeg’s nearly 750,000 residents enjoy a vibrant downtown. Local college and university students join the over 70,000 people who work in the city centre.
Winnipeg is a city of extremes. Weather extremes, that is. If you love a warm summer and a cold winter, you’re in luck. You’ll also find numerous historical sites and festivals and of course the Winnipeg Jets.
The ninth most affordable place to buy a house in 2022 is Calgary. This Alberta city is the largest on the list with over 1.3 million residents. Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, leaving it with legacy facilities for a variety of sports.
Like Winnipeg, this is a four-season city for people who like their summers warm and their winters cold. In 2022, Calgary was declared one of the top three most livable cities in the world, sharing its spot with Zurich, Switzerland.
The average price for a home in Calgary is $528,440. With a 20% down payment, this represents a monthly mortgage payment of $2,541. That is 38.29% of the area’s average monthly income.
Moncton, New Brunswick
The eighth most affordable city for Canadian home buyers right now is Moncton. The average home in the area sells for $337,992, for a mortgage payment that’s 33.40% of the average area income.
With 20% down, you can expect your mortgage payment to be around $1,625.
Despite being in Eastern Canada’s Maritimes Province of New Brunswick, Moncton doesn’t have a particularly temperate climate. Its nearly 80,000 residents enjoy the same four distinct seasons as its inland cousins.
The largest city in New Brunswick, Moncton is known as Hub City. The nickname comes from its central location and its history as a transportation hub.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
The city at number seven on the list takes us once again to the Maritimes. St. John’s is the largest city in Newfoundland with a population of over 210,000. Fun fact: if you don’t count Greenland, St. John’s is further east than any other city in North America.
This coastal city is the centre of Eastern Canada’s oil and gas industry and is home to numerous corporate headquarters and regional offices. While not quite as seasonal as inland cities, St. John’s does have both warm summers and cold winters.
You can buy the average home in St. John’s for $332,900. Your mortgage with a 20% down payment would be around $1,601 per month or 31.45% of the area’s average income.
Number six takes us to the center of the country, Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. Here you’ll pay $373,410 for the average home. Your monthly mortgage payment will be around $1,796 with 20% down, representing 31.06% of the average area income.
Saskatoon is the largest city in the province, with over 266,000 residents. It’s a great place for winter lovers, as the season is long and cold. Warm summers give residents a chance to attend numerous outdoor festivals.
Thunder Bay, ONTARIO
Halfway through at number five is Thunder Bay, the only Ontario city to make the list. Far from the high prices of Toronto, you can buy the average home in this city of 108,000 for $370,761. Your monthly mortgage with a 20% down payment will be about $1,783. That’s 29.78% of the average monthly income in the area and our first city under 30%
Thunder Bay sits right on Lake Superior. Its settlement dates back to the late 1600s when it served as a fur trading outpost. You’ll find gorgeous natural areas and a lot of history in this affordable city.
At number four we have our second Alberta city—Edmonton. The second largest city on the list, Edmonton is home to a little over a million people. The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers are one of several professional sports teams located in this central inland city.
You can buy an average home in Edmonton for $408,961, a great price for a city this size. After your 20% down payment, your monthly mortgage will be about $1,967. That represents 29.64% of the area’s average income.
Heading into the top three, we arrive in Brandon, Manitoba. A smaller city, with about 51,000 residents, Brandon sits on the Assiniboine River. It’s just 214 kilometres from Winnipeg and shares its warm summers and cold winters.
The average home in Brandon costs $310,252, making mortgage payments with 20% down about $1,492 a month. That’s a steep saving from nearby Winnipeg. It’s over $100,000 less for the average home with over $500 in monthly mortgage payment savings.
That $1,492 mortgage payment represents 27.73% of the area’s average monthly income.
Coming in fast at number two is Regina, Saskatchewan. Located south of Saskatoon, this city of over 236,000 residents has warm summers with lots of rain and cold, dry winters. Those of you living in Ottawa will appreciate Regina’s dedication to parks, bike paths, skiing trails, and other natural spaces.
The average home in Regina costs $323,950. With 20% down that leaves a monthly mortgage payment of $1,558. That’s just 26.64% of the average monthly income in the area.
The city is almost as large as Saskatoon, but the average house costs nearly $50,000 less. By now you’re certainly seeing how location changes the cost of homeownership in Canada.
Red Deer, ALBERTA
Our number one most affordable place to live in Canada in 2022 is Red Deer, Alberta. This city of over 100,000 residents sits on the rolling aspen parkland near the Red Deer River.
Red Deer is home to theaters, art galleries, recreation centres, and ski hills. Residents enjoy warm summers with cool nights as they get ready for the cold, dry winter months.
The average home in Red Deer costs $356,779 in 2022. After a 20% down payment, that leaves monthly mortgage payments of about $1,716. That’s just 25.86% of the area’s average monthly income.
Red Deer is just 146 kilometers north of Calgary. That one-hour and 45-minute drive could save you over $170,000 when you buy a home.
These are not the only affordable places to buy a home in Canada. They’re just at the top of the heap right now. What we can learn from this list is just how much difference a couple of hours or a change in province can make when you’re looking to enter the Canadian real estate market.
Looking to know more about the Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Buy in Canada? Talk with us about your ideal affordable home. We’ll use our experience, and our connections, to help you find it.