Growing numbers of first time home buyers are venturing farther in search of an affordable first home. While leading metropolitan cities like Vancouver or Toronto will always be strong draws, they’re challenging markets to crack: in December 2018, the benchmark price of a home hit $1.05 million in Greater Vancouver and $796,800 in Greater Toronto.
Homebuyers have driven booms in revitalized municipalities like Hamilton, Ont. and Surrey, B.C. These growing cities offer great value for homebuyers seeking more home for their real estate buck – yet their new-found popularity comes with swelling sticker prices. Are there any exciting cities where you can buy a house for less than the national average of half a million dollars?
Fortunately, yes! Below are examples of four up-and-coming communities that are ideal for new buyers. These cities offer more than just great entry-level real estate: they’re also uniquely beautiful communities to set down roots in.
Average 2018 home price: $394,5152
Approximate population: 103,811
Why: This Thompson Valley river town sits in the shadow of mountains, enjoys beautiful weather and has a relaxed, outdoorsy vibe. Kamloops boasts all the millennial must-haves: arts and culture, yoga studios, restaurants and a farmers’ market, plus amazing proximity to hiking, skiing, fishing and snow sports. Kamloops offers the quintessential B.C. lifestyle for a fraction of the cost of Vancouver living.
Average 2018 home price: $300,8543 (Halifax-Dartmouth)
Approximate population: 403,390
Why: Canada’s East Coast offers amazing value to anyone who’s ready to make the leap. Unlike other Maritime municipalities where job prospects may be suboptimal, Halifax is booming. One of Canada’s top tech hubs, the fast-growing city, enjoys low unemployment, a healthy economy, universities, the Atlantic Ocean and über- affordable real estate. Beaches, culture, a growing food scene are assets.
Average 2018 home price: $383,229, that is the average in the London St.Thomas area , you can start with an apartment condominium under $200,000 and a wide range of townhouses and bungalows from $200,000 to $300,000!
Approximate population: 383,437
Why: London is home to Western University and boasts a thriving entertainment and food scene. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranks it among Canada’s best cities for women, thanks to its safety, economic security, education, health and leadership opportunities. Nicknamed the Forest City, London has plenty of green spaces to kick back in.
Average 2018 home price: $554,326
Approximate population: 131,794
Why: Guelph is a nature lover’s paradise, with two scenic rivers and endless kilometres of recreational trails that meander through forests and parks. It’s low in crime and has long been renowned for its high standard of living, not to mention its laid-back, university-city vibe.
These are just a few examples of the wonderful communities across Canada. And regardless of where you practice real estate, looking beyond big city limits will provide great options for first-timers looking to achieve their dream of homeownership.
The above was prepared by Genworth Canada