Canada’s Best Cities For First Time Home Buyers

Growing numbers of first time home buyers are venturing farther in search of an affordable first home. While leading metropolitan cities like Vancouver or Toronto will always be strong draws, they’re challenging markets to crack: in December 2018, the benchmark price of a home hit $1.05 million in Greater Vancouver and $796,800 in Greater Toronto.

Home buying tips

Homebuyers have driven booms in revitalized municipalities like Hamilton, Ont. and Surrey, B.C. These growing cities offer great value for homebuyers seeking more home for their real estate buck – yet their new-found popularity comes with swelling sticker prices.  Are there any exciting cities where you can buy a house for less than the national average of half a million dollars?

Fortunately, yes! Below are examples of four up-and-coming communities that are ideal for new buyers. These cities offer more than just great entry-level real estate: they’re also uniquely beautiful communities to set down roots in.


Kamloops, B.C.

Average 2018 home price: $394,5152

Approximate population: 103,811

Why: This Thompson Valley river town sits in the shadow of mountains, enjoys beautiful weather and has a relaxed, outdoorsy vibe. Kamloops boasts all the millennial must-haves: arts and culture, yoga studios, restaurants and a farmers’ market, plus amazing proximity to hiking, skiing, fishing and snow sports. Kamloops offers the quintessential B.C. lifestyle for a fraction of the cost of Vancouver living.


Halifax, N.S.

Average 2018 home price: $300,8543 (Halifax-Dartmouth)

Approximate population: 403,390

Why: Canada’s East Coast offers amazing value to anyone who’s ready to make the leap. Unlike other Maritime municipalities where job prospects may be suboptimal, Halifax is booming. One of Canada’s top tech hubs, the fast-growing city, enjoys low unemployment, a healthy economy, universities, the Atlantic Ocean and über- affordable real estate. Beaches, culture, a growing food scene are assets.


 London, Ont.

Average 2018 home price: $383,229, that is the average in the London St.Thomas area , you can start with an apartment condominium under $200,000 and a wide range of townhouses and bungalows from $200,000 to $300,000!

Approximate population: 383,437

Why: London is home to Western University and boasts a thriving entertainment and food scene. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranks it among Canada’s best cities for women, thanks to its safety, economic security, education, health and leadership opportunities. Nicknamed the Forest City, London has plenty of green spaces to kick back in.

Some London Ontario Neighbourhoods


Guelph, Ont.

Average 2018 home price: $554,326

Approximate population: 131,794

Why: Guelph is a nature lover’s paradise, with two scenic rivers and endless kilometres of recreational trails that meander through forests and parks. It’s low in crime and has long been renowned for its high standard of living, not to mention its laid-back, university-city vibe.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful communities across Canada. And regardless of where you practice real estate, looking beyond big city limits will provide great options for first-timers looking to achieve their dream of homeownership.

The above was prepared by Genworth Canada

London Ontario Home Sales Sets Another Record

Well, here we go again, The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced another record month for residential sales in April, with a total of 1,220 homes sold, an increase of 14.2% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for April, since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978.

In April, a total of 971 detached homes were sold, an increase of 11.7% over the previous year, while there were 249 condominium sales, up 25.1% from 2016. The average sales price was $347,062 up 5.4% from the previous month. The average year-to-date sales price was $325,286 up 16.6% from 2016 average home price of $279,057.

St. Thomas also had a very healthy April, with a total of 97 homes sold, up 12.8% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $270,439 up 9.3% from the previous month.

What are the reasons?

  • More buyers than sellers (less homes for sale)
  • The rest of Ontario is realizing that London Ontario and area remains one of the best communities to live in plus affordable housing.
  • Ample employment
House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 287 $506,988
Bungalow 119 $286,981
Ranch 114 $429,585
Townhouse 97 $204,960
High rise apt. condo 69 $200,007

The best-selling house style in April continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in April was $372,461, up 4.7% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $248,020 up 14.5% from the previous month.

The following chart is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for March 2017 (the latest statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Home prices in Canada

Some neighbourhoods in London have experienced a significant rise in prices and in most cases, bidding wars.