How Much Will You Pay to Own a Home Close to the GO Transit Line?

Home buyers in pricey markets are all too familiar with the term “drive until you qualify” – trading close proximity to employment in the city core for more affordable housing options in further-flung communities.

It’s a common strategy for those who work in the City of Toronto, as real estate prices remain stubbornly high; the average house within city limits fetched an average of $1,320,333 in 2018, with condos – one of the last remaining bastions of affordable housing – still over half a million, at $593,366. 

That’s prompted many would-be 416ers to set out instead for surrounding municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area, and embracing the longer commutes that come with them. 

While thousands of residents from across the GTA who are employed in the city’s finance, tech, and service industries have long made the daily trek to downtown Toronto, recent numbers from Metrolinx, which runs the provincially-run transit agency GO Transit, show the commuter load is growing. GO Transit moved 56.5 million customers in 2018, increasing the number of weekly trips by 13% to 217. Growing commuter demand has led to plans to increase its services by 55% over the next two years, with two lines in particular – Barrie and Stouffville – experiencing between 95 – 100% growth in usage last year.

The Most Affordable Homes Along the GO Transit Line

But where along the GO Transit system will home buyers find their money goes furthest? To find out, Zoocasa collected home prices based on sold listings within a two-kilometre radius from each of the 66 GO Train stations from local real estate boards, as well as commute times based on a weekday arrival at Union Station around 8:30 a.m. 

The study found that, to score the greatest value, home buyers had better be prepared for a long ride. Two of the least expensive options include homes for sale in Hamilton; West Harbour station, located on the Lakeshore West line, tops the list as most affordable, with an average home price of $365,927 and a 71-minute commute, along with Hamilton station, which comes in third at $414,372, and a 72-minute commute. 

Those looking for Kitchener real estate are in luck, as the stop ranked second for its average home price of $403,907, and commute time of 111 minutes. The top five are rounded out by Allandale Waterfront – an option for those interested in Barrie real estate, where homes cost an average of $467,152, and the commute time is 105 minutes, as well as Cooksville station, where one can pay an average of $473,874 and still enjoy a relatively short 33-minute commute.

The Most Expensive Homes Along the GO Transit Line

The most expensive GO station to live nearby is King City, where the average abode costs a steep $1,595,656, though commute time comes in under an hour at 43 minutes. That’s followed by Port Credit ($1,361,029 and 25 minutes), Lincolnville ($1,308,108 and 79 minutes), Centennial ($1,040,488 and 52 minutes), and Maple ($1,021,813 and 35 minutes).

Check out the infographic below to see how home affordability differs near each GO Train station:

GO Station Home Prices

5 GO Train Stops with the Lowest Home Prices

1 – West Harbour

Line: Lakeshore West
Home Price: $365,927
Commute Time: 71 minutes

2 – Kitchener

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $403,907
Commute Time: 111 minutes

3 – Hamilton

Line: Lakeshore West
Home Price: $414,372
Commute Time: 72 minutes

4 – Allendale Waterfront

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $467,152
Commute Time: 105 minutes

5 – Cooksville

Line: Milton
Home Price: $473,874
Commute Time: 33 minutes

5 GO Train Stops with the Highest Home Prices

1 – King City

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $1,595,656
Commute Time: 43 minutes

2 – Port Credit

Line: Lakeshore West
Home Price: $1,361,029
Commute Time: 25 minutes

3 – Lincolnville

Line: Stouffville
Home Price: $1,308,108
Commute Time: 79 minutes

4 – Centennial

Line: Stouffville
Home Price: $1,040,488
Commute Time: 52 minutes

5 – Maple

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $1,021,813
Commute Time: 35 minutes

5 Most Affordable Stops 15 – 30 Minutes from Union Station

1 – Etobicoke North

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $545,152
Commute Time: 26 minutes

2 – York University

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $563,416
Commute Time: 24 minutes

3 – Kennedy

Line: Stouffville
Home Price: $579,509
Commute Time: 24 minutes

4 – Dixie

Line: Milton
Home Price: $594,842
Commute Time: 27 minutes

5 – Downsview Park

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $598,768
Commute Time: 20 minutes

5 Most Affordable Stops 31– 45 Minutes from Union Station

1 – Cooksville

Line: Milton
Home Price: $473,874
Commute Time: 33 minutes

2 – Malton

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $546,356
Commute Time: 32 minutes

3 – Agincourt

Line: Stouffville
Home Price: $550,659
Commute Time: 31 minutes

4 – Whitby

Line: Lakeshore East
Home Price: $551,945
Commute Time: 44 minutes

5 – Ajax

Line: Lakeshore East
Home Price: $582,158
Commute Time: 36 minutes

5 Most Affordable Stops 46– 60 Minutes from Union Station

1– Oshawa

Line: Lakeshore East
Home Price: $482,794
Commute Time: 50 minutes

2 – Meadowvale

Line: Milton
Home Price: $557,634
Commute Time: 51 minutes

3 – Unionville

Line: Stouffville
Home Price: $632,575
Commute Time: 46 minutes

4 – Brampton

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $664,528
Commute Time: 48 minutes

5 – Mount Pleasant

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $707,442
Commute Time: 55 minutes

5 Most Affordable Stops 1 Hour+ from Union Station

1 – West Harbour

Line: Lakeshore West
Home Price: $365,927
Commute Time: 71 minutes

2 – Kitchener

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $403,907
Commute Time: 111 minutes

3 – Hamilton

Line: Lakeshore West
Home Price: $414,372
Commute Time: 72 minutes

4 – Allandale Waterfront

Line: Barrie
Home Price: $467,152
Commute Time: 105 minutes

5 – Guelph

Line: Kitchener
Home Price: $518,042
Commute Time: 87 minutes

Methodology:

Average home prices are based on sold listings within a 2km radius of each GO Train station in 2018. Sold data was sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board, Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie & District Association of Realtors, and Guelph & District Association of Realtors.

Commute times are sourced from GO Transit (www.gotransit.com/en/trip-planning/plan-your-trip) and are based on arriving at Union Station at around 8:30 AM on a weekday.

About Zoocasa

Zoocasa.com is a tech-driven brokerage that empowers Canadians to make more informed real estate decisions. Our proprietary home search tools and streamlined agent experience make buying and selling homes smarter, faster and more successful. Home buyers can browse real estate listings on the website or the free real estate iOS app.

For more information about this report or to set up a media interview, please email [email protected]

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa. A born-and-bred Torontonian and quintessential millennial, she has over a decade of experience covering real estate, lifestyle and personal finance topics. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods.