10 Most Affordable Housing Markets in Ontario

10 Most Affordable Housing Markets in Ontario

Justo Team | March 29, 2022

If you’re looking to buy a house in the most affordable cities in Ontario, you’re not alone.

Ontario is home to some of Canada’s biggest and most prominent cities, including the capital Ottawa and cosmopolitan hot-spot Toronto. 

Toronto, the province’s largest city by population, has some of the most expensive real estates in Canada, but Ontario has a wide range of options when it comes to finding an affordable home. 
At Justo, we implement a variety of smart and dynamic processes that allow us to provide the best prices for home buyers. In this article, we’ll teach you how to determine if an area has affordable real estate and go over the cities in Ontario with the lowest property prices.

What Defines an Affordable Housing Market?

Whether you prefer larger cities that offer a fast-paced environment or smaller cities with easy access to beautiful beaches, it’s safe to assume you don’t want to pay inflated costs for your next home.

But, how exactly can you identify affordable housing markets in Ontario? After all, house prices are directly related to the acquisitional power of the buyers in that specific area. 

To determine whether or not a city has affordable real estate, you need to look beyond the average home price and look at the income average for a household in the area.

affordable housing market

Let’s say that you find a house with a low price tag, compared to the amount of money you’d pay in your city. Before going any further, you need to compare the median household income in that city. There’s a strong chance that one or more people in your household will rely on local employment opportunities.  

So, you need to ensure that the average household income in a given city is large enough to acquire a loan and purchase a home in order to determine if that area is actually affordable.

The Most Affordable Housing Markets in Ontario

Finding affordable places in Ontario may seem like a daunting task, but this province has a stronger real estate market than most people give it credit for. 

Before going any further, it’s important to understand one critical element: home prices vary tremendously depending on the size of a city. 

For example, a three-bedroom apartment in a large city will likely be more expensive than the same property in a medium-sized or small city. The reason for this is that cities generally provide easier access to professional opportunities, especially for young families or students looking to attend the best universities. 

Purchasing real estate in a small city may be more affordable in terms of upfront costs. That said, it’s important to analyze the city’s economic data and determine the average wages for your professions and the general unemployment rate.

If the average income is not enough to afford a home, you may have to commute to an adjacent large city with a thriving economy and a lower unemployment rate. Commuting to another city is relatively common, but it’s important to consider this possibility when buying a house. For instance, countless Windsor residents commute to Detroit on a daily basis, but it’s important to understand what daily border crossings could potentially entail.

To create a comprehensive list, we categorized our selections for more affordable home markets in Ontario by city size.

affordable housing markets for new families

For the purpose of our classification, we’ve defined large cities as having more than 150,000 inhabitants. Medium-sized cities have between 149,999 and 10,000, while small cities have anything less than 10,000 people living in them. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at our picks for the most affordable large cities in Ontario.

Affordable Large Cities

The raw average home price in larger cities is much higher than the national average. The good news is that residents of these cities have a higher household income average. Here are the cities with the best real estate price to income ratio.

Ottawa

When you think about Ottawa, the first thing to come to mind is probably the city’s vibrant downtown core, not affordable real estate. The good news is that the average median income in Ottawa is more than enough to find an affordable place for your family. 

Even though the average house price in Ottawa is more than $400,000, our observations show that the average household income is more than $25,000 higher than the number required to buy a house.

Windsor

Windsor is an amazing place to live because it’s beautiful, practical, and affordable. 

What do we mean by being practical? Windsor is in the heart of North America, with easy access to major cities like Detroit and Toronto by car. Not only this, but the city has dozens of daily flights departing to and arriving from economic hubs like Pittsburgh and Chicago.

houses in Windsor

With more than 200,000 residents, Windsor is home to several technology firms as well as other innovative companies that have boosted the city’s real estate price to income ratio. This is the reason why it made our list as one of the cheapest cities in Ontario.

London

London is one of the most beautiful and affordable cities in Ontario. Boasting a thriving arts scene, superb professional opportunities, and a breathtaking cityscape, The Forest City also has some of the lowest real estate prices among Ontario cities. 
Our observations show that an average-priced house costs north of $350,000 in London. Statistics in Canada suggest that the average income earner in London makes close to $67,000, which is 20% higher than the required amount to afford a home.

Sudbury

By our definition of affordable areas, Sudbury is the best big city to buy real estate.

Sudbury is an affordable large city because the average resident makes around $30,000 more than the required salary to purchase a local piece of property. 

But, housing affordability is not the only reason why Sudbury is a great place to live! The municipality of Sudbury is among the largest in Canada and it’s home to a huge number of natural wonders. 
Sudbury also has a growing economy, a large number of higher education institutions, and great professional opportunities. As a matter of fact, the average unemployment rate in Sudbury is close to 5.5%, which is 2% lower than the national average.

Affordable Medium-Sized Cities

Now that we’ve covered the most affordable large cities in Ontario, it’s time to evaluate medium-sized areas.

As it’s to be expected, the average home price in medium-sized cities is lower than in larger areas. Based on housing prices and household entire earnings comparison, our top picks for the most affordable medium-sized cities in Ontario are:

Thunder Bay

Not only are average home prices in Thunder Bay low, but the average income earner also makes more than enough money to afford real estate. Average housing prices in Thunder Bay hover around $220,000 with the average income earner making close to $68.000. 

This is almost double the salary required to purchase a house based on the region’s average price.

Guelph

The area that is now Guelph has been inhabited for more than 11,000 years, yet it’s still one of the best places to live in Ontario

Guelph City

Known for having the perfect balance between life in a big city and a closely-knit community, Guelph is located only 45 minutes away from Toronto. The best part is that its residents make, on average, more than enough to afford real estate in the city, which goes for more than $500,000 on average.

Ajax

If you believe population growth to be a sign of development, it’s hard to overlook Ajax as one of the best places to live in Ontario. 

In addition to being one of the most affordable cities in Ontario based on price to income comparisons, the area has also experienced increased population growth over the last few years. To many, this is the result of the area’s unique location, which gives it easy access to Toronto as well as wildlife reserves and other natural sanctuaries.

Affordable Small Cities

Small cities are amazing places to raise children and enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle.

Here are our picks for the small cities with the most affordable real estate markets, based on income and home price averages.

  • Deep River
  • Smooth Rock Falls
  • Englehart

The Bottom Line

Finding the cheapest places to buy a house in Ontario may not be straightforward. 

But, as long as you know what your requirements are, spend a good amount of time researching, and compare the average income of an area to the price of its real estate, you should be able to find the perfect home

We hope that our list of the top 10 most affordable cities in Ontario helps you identify the best area for your family. 

Stay tuned to our blog to get more tips on finding the most affordable cities in Canada!

Justo
By Justo Team

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