With tough new mortgage rules, property sales figures across Canada are expected to decline in the first half of 2018, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, or CREA. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t think about buying a home if you can afford it. With slower market conditions, you may even be able to snap up a real estate bargain that could become either your home or a source of rental income. To get an idea of the best places to buy a house in Canada, we used CREA’s latest statistics about average house prices in Canada’s major housing markets.
1. Prince Edward Island
Buying a home on Prince Edward Island may just be the best investment you can make. The average home price here in November 2017 was a very affordable $204,577, up a whopping 19.6% from November 2016. If you don’t want to relocate, you can always list your home as a vacation rental.
2. Greater Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver real estate is the most expensive in Canada, with a Multiple Service Listing Home Price Index, or MPL HPI, of $1,046,900. However, prices continue to rise, with an increase of 14% from November 2016 prices, so buying one of the Vancouver houses for sale is a good investment if you have money to spare.
3. Peterborough & the Kawarthas, Ontario
The biggest price increase from November 2016 to November 2017 was in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. The average house price here was $396,890, up 20.6% from the previous year.
4. Vancouver Island, British Columbia
British Columbia in general has seen great increases in house prices. On Vancouver Island, the increase was 18.5% from November 2016 but homes here are more affordable too, with an MLS HPI of $438,600.
5. Fraser Valley, British Columbia
House prices in the Fraser Valley have risen by 18.5% between November 2016 and November 2017. However, with an MPL HPI of $755,800, houses for sale in Chilliwack and other Fraser Valley communities are more expensive than the national average of $503,852.
6. Victoria, British Columbia
Homes for sale in Victoria are a little pricey, with an MLS HPI of $621,900 in November 2017. However, Victoria homes saw a price increase of 14.1% since November 2016 and can be a good investment. After all, you can always turn your heritage home into a B&B.
7. Lethbridge, Alberta
Even though Calgary real estate still costs less than the national average, prices haven’t changed much in the last year. In Edmonton, prices have even dropped. If you want to buy in Alberta, look to Lethbridge, where the average house costs $271,685, up 8.3% from November 2016.
8. Winnipeg, Manitoba
If you’re looking to buy on the Prairies, avoid houses for sale in Regina or Saskatoon, where prices have shown a marked decline. Instead, focus on Winnipeg, where the average house price in November 2017 was $293,856, an increase of 5.1% from November 2016.
9. Greater Toronto, Ontario
With an MLS HPI of $744,700, houses for sale in Toronto cost well above the national average. However, if you can afford to buy here, you’ll see your property’s value rise. The average price increase in the Greater Toronto Area was 8.4% from November 2016 to November 2017.
10. Windsor-Essex, Ontario
The Windsor-Essex region saw the largest price increase in the Ontario housing market between November 2016 and November 2017. The average house price here was $260,095 in November 2017, up 17.7% from the year before.
11. Niagara Region, Ontario
Another Ontario housing market that’s a good option for an investment property is the Niagara region, where house prices went up by 13.6% from November 2016 to November 2017. It’s still affordable too, with the average house costing $385,124.
12. Guelph, Ontario
Guelph is one of the safest cities in Canada, which may help explain why house prices here increased by 13.4% from November 2016 to November 2017. The average house here costs $409,900, which is still below the national average.
13. London & St. Thomas, Ontario
With an increase of 12.9% in the price of houses for sale London and St. Thomas are good choices if you want to invest in property in Ontario. House prices here are $325,310 on average.
14. Thunder Bay, Ontario
House prices in Thunder Bay haven’t changed much in the year from November 2016 to November 2017, with an increase on only 1.8%. However, Thunder Bay houses are very affordable, with an average price of $220,996.
15. Ottawa, Ontario
Considering that the city is the national capital, Ottawa real estate is surprisingly cheap. The MLS HPI here is $369,400, showing an increase of 6.7% from November 2016 to November 2017.
16. Montreal CMA, Quebec
Montreal is one of the most expensive housing markets in Quebec and prices here have increased by 5.6% between November 2016 and November 2017. Still, the MLS HPI for Montreal real estate is a very affordable $330,500.
17. Saguenay CMA, Quebec
House prices in Saguenay showed a 5.7% increase from November 2016 to November 2017. This is a great city for investing in a second home that you can turn into a vacation rental, since the average house is a steal at $177,154.
18. Sherbrooke CMA, Quebec
At 12.5%, Sherbrooke showed the greatest increase in average house prices in Quebec between November 2016 and November 2017. The average home here costs $264,223, so you if you want to live in a vibrant university city, Sherbrooke is a good option for a starter home.
19. Trois-Rivières CMA, Quebec
House prices in Trois-Rivières have stabilized, with an increase of only 1.5% between November 2016 and November 2017. However, with an average cost of $155,793, the city has some of the cheapest houses not only in Quebec but in Canada.
20. Greater Moncton, New Brunswick
Apart from Prince Edward Island, housing markets in the Maritime Provinces haven’t shown much growth and in some, especially in New Brunswick, the average house prices have decreased. Moncton is one of your better bets in this part of Canada, with an MLS HPI of only $175,000, up 4.6% from November 2016.
Want more? Check out last year’s predictions on where to buy a house in Canada.