February 21, 2017
How Much Space Can You Get for $300k in Canada’s Top Cities?
It seems nowadays that everywhere you look, Canadian real estate is on people’s minds, especially when it comes to the GTA and British Columbia. To cut through all the static, we at Point2 Homes wanted to find out, in layman’s terms, how much house can you buy for $300,000 in 30 of Canada’s largest cities.
Why $300k as a benchmark? Because according to a profile of the Canadian home buyer based on Point2 Homes marketplace searches, most people across Canada (except in the hottest markets) are still searching for homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000. Keep in mind that the average Canadian home is still close to the 2,000 square foot mark, even though it seems to slowly be shrinking.
Why price/square foot? Because it is a universally accepted metric, especially when it comes to getting general insight into home values. Even though it doesn’t take into account location, building materials, construction type and other factors, it does offer a very important estimate – almost as important as the median home price –, namely how much elbow room you get for your money in a city. Your real estate professional can then offer you a breakdown by property type.
Point2 Homes took all these into account and created a neat visual to form an idea about what your money is worth in various real estate markets. The interactive chart below tells you exactly how much space you can get in any of the cities included in the study. The rectangles are proportional, so you can get a simple visual overview.
Toronto prices soar, but Ontario still has affordable opportunities
The good news is that $300,000 can buy 520 square feet of space in Toronto real estate, which can even be ideal for lovers of micro-homes. The bad news is that there seems to be an alarming scarcity of real estate inventory, which is driving prices in the 416 higher and higher, according to a recent TREB report.
The situation around Toronto is still very diverse, with some of the most expensive, but also some of the more affordable cities in Canada. On the expensive side, there’s Richmond Hill, with prices second only to Vancouver, as $300k only buys 367 square feet.
On the other hand, Cambridge or St. Catharines, where $300 gets you 1,181 square feet and 1,316 square feet respectively, are still very attractive options in terms of affordability, although the long commutes might deter some buyers from exploring them.
Ontario city highlights: How much house can you get for $300k
- Toronto – 520 square feet
- Mississauga – 750 square feet
- Ottawa – 1,079 square feet
- Windsor – 1,435 square feet
Quebec and British Columbia: Extremes in Terms of Value for Money
The only city in Canada where $300k gets you a home of over 2,000 square feet is Sherbrooke, QC. Gatineau comes a close second, with 1,887 sq. ft., but the numbers quickly plummet from there.
At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Vancouver real estate, where $300k would theoretically get you 339 square feet of space, if you could find a home that small on the market. In other words, not surprisingly, in Vancouver $300k gets buyers a mere 16.9% of the average Canadian home size.
Things aren’t much better in the rest of British Columbia either.
British Columbia city highlights: How much house can you get for $300k
- Vancouver – 339 square feet
- Burnaby – 489 square feet
- Surrey – 765 square feet
- Abbotsford – 1,210 square feet
The bottom line is that Canadian real estate still offers options for every budget, although they might not be in the most sought-after metropolises.