15 Cities Where Housing Costs Less in Canada

Shift Toward Affordable Housing: Canadians Eye Relocation
Karen Yolevski, COO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., notes a growing trend among Canadians in major urban hubs considering relocation to more affordable cities. Yolevski observes that as housing affordability declines and barriers to homeownership rise, many potential buyers are turning to less expensive markets. She highlights the significance of remote work opportunities post-pandemic, which offer flexibility in choosing housing that aligns with budgetary constraints without the constraint of office proximity.Quebec City emerges as the preferred relocation destination for residents of the Greater Montreal Area, while Edmonton leads among respondents in the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver regions. Lower cost of living tops the list of incentives for relocation, followed by proximity to nature and a desire for a more relaxed lifestyle.Yolevski emphasizes the importance of lifestyle considerations in housing decisions, noting a trend that predates the pandemic but accelerated during the real estate boom of 2020 and 2021. She acknowledges that while major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver offer diverse opportunities and amenities, affordability challenges are prompting many to explore alternatives.The survey reveals that while 40% of respondents from major urban centers are open to relocation, there's a notable divide between homeowners (47%) and renters (30%) in willingness to move. Yolevski stresses the enduring demand for housing in major cities but underscores the imperative to address supply-demand imbalances through accelerated home construction across all market sizes.Regional Trends:
  • In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 51% express openness to purchasing in more affordable cities, with Edmonton emerging as the top choice.
  • Greater Montreal Area (GMA) residents show a higher inclination toward relocation within the province, with Quebec City being the preferred destination for 29% of respondents.
  • Greater Vancouver residents display a lower likelihood of relocation, with 45% considering moving, and Edmonton being the top choice.
  • Despite the allure of affordability, reluctance to relocate is more pronounced among Greater Vancouver residents (46%), followed by the Greater Montreal Area (40%) and the Greater Toronto Area (37%).
Atlantic Canada:
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, ranks second among the most affordable cities, attracting buyers seeking a quieter lifestyle.
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, also makes the list, offering a peaceful living environment amidst beautiful landscapes.
  • Trois-Rivières stands out as the most affordable city in Quebec, attracting buyers with its affordability and quiet environment.
  • Gatineau, while seeing significant price increases, remains comparatively more affordable than neighboring Ottawa.
  • Thunder Bay leads the list of affordable cities in Canada, offering a blend of affordability and proximity to nature.
  • Windsor-Essex represents affordability in Ontario, attracting buyers with reasonable housing prices.
Manitoba & Saskatchewan:
  • Regina ranks sixth among the most affordable cities in Canada, offering an affordable housing market amidst steady population growth.
  • Winnipeg attracts both interprovincial and international migrants with its affordable housing and work opportunities.
  • Red Deer emerges as the third most affordable city in Canada, offering quality housing options at a lower cost compared to larger urban centers.
  • Edmonton stands out for its affordability, drawing buyers seeking a better quality of life at a reasonable cost.
As Canadians continue to seek affordable housing options, regions offering a blend of affordability, amenities, and lifestyle benefits are likely to witness sustained demand.

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