Here’s what $1 million can get homebuyers across Canada: Report

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Published February 22, 2024 at 1:28 pm

Ontario real estate

The unstable price of property is something that often dominates the minds of those considering the risky gambit of buying real estate in Ontario. With both skyrocketing interest rates and relentless requirements for down payments, the once-generous budget of $1 million for property has lost its value by a substantial margin, and many in the province are considering other options when it comes to homeownership. 

However, a recent report published by Royal LePage (one of Canada’s largest real estate firms) has broken down what $1 million can get you across Canada. 

On a national scale, average properties that operate within this price range will provide the buyer with 3.2 bedrooms and 2.1 bathrooms and roughly 1,763 worth of square feet, according to the report published by Royal LePage. 

For cities like Toronto and Vancouver, these margins do not apply, as the report indicates that given the current trajectory of the housing market, cities like these are “evolving away from large homes.”

So what does this mean for those looking to buy a home in the GTA? 

As dictated by Royal LePage’s report, over the past six years, homes that sit at the price point of $1 million have seen a substantial increase in sales in municipalities surrounding Toronto proper, as they are often more affordable and don’t suffer the loss of square footage that homes within city limits suffer, which is upwards of 300 square feet. 

According to the report, anyone looking to purchase properties in areas like Oakville, Brampton, Markham, etc., will operate on a framework closer to the national average rather than the average in larger cities like Toronto or Vancouver. 

Data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board indicates the average house price in the GTA (which includes Toronto) hit $1,026,703 in January 2024.

The average price in Ontario overall is lower.

According to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the average sold price was $821,624 last month–up 2.9 per cent from January 2023. OREA says the average price in Canada hit $659,395 in January.

Royal LePage said the average home in the GTA valued between $950,000 and $1,050,000 in December 2023 had three bedrooms, 2.3 bathrooms and 1,459 square feet of living space – 301 square feet less than the national average.

The report says the average home in the region valued between $1,950,000 and $2,050,000 in the same period had 3.8 bedrooms, 3.1 bathrooms and 2,692 square feet of living space – 191 square feet more than the national average.

“In the city of Toronto$1 million is the entry-level price point for most property types. With this budget, a two-bedroom condominium or condo-townhome is realistic. If your budget is closer to the $2-million mark, then you can unlock larger and more updated properties in desirable downtown neighbourhoods. However, those who take their home search into the GTA’s suburbs can find much larger properties within this price range,” said Shawn Zigelstein, broker and team leader of Team Zold, Royal LePage Your Community, in the report.

“Those shopping in the $1-million segment are mostly first-time buyers, newcomers and young families who are looking to transition from a rental into home ownership.”

Even with the viability of $1 million properties in the GTA inching closer and closer to reality, some in the province still believe that the million-dollar price point won’t be nearly enough to get a house that fits their needs, with 31 per cent of surveyed Ontarians citing that a budget of $1 million doesn’t even come close to their needs, as indicated by the report. 

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