New Report Reveals How Much Money You Need To Upsize From A Condo To A House In Canadian Cities

It takes less than two years of income to cover the price jump of going from a condo to a house in some cities!

​Houses in a neighbourhood in Ontario.
Senior Creator

Houses in a neighbourhood in Ontario.

It's no secret that house prices can be pretty expensive in Canada but there are some places where buying a home is still affordable.

So, if you want to find out which cities in Canada are the best, a new report has revealed what it takes to upsize from condo to house in the Canadian housing market right now.

That includes how many years of income you need to save, Canadian cities with the biggest price differences, and cities where it's easiest to close the price gap.

Point2, an online real estate marketplace, analyzed the benchmark price for condos and houses along with the local median household income in each city.

Income ranges from $57,999 in Trois-Rivières, which is the lowest of all the cities, to $116,576 in Oakville, which is the highest of all the cities.

Then, it was calculated how many years' worth of income it would take people in Canadian cities to match the price difference between the condos and houses.

Houses in Canada are almost 40% more expensive than condos which means it takes more than two years of income to cover the $214,600 difference, according to Point2.

The biggest discrepancies between prices of condos and single-family homes are in B.C. (153% in Vancouver and 132% in Surrey) and Ontario (149% in Richmond Hill and 138% in Oakville).

Houses in Oakville are $934,300 more expensive than apartments while single-family homes in Richmond Hill are $996,100 more expensive.

It costs $1,243,300 more to buy a house than a condo in Vancouver.

Point2 noted that compared to those three cities, the $725,400 price gap between a condo and a house in Surrey "seems almost achievable."

If a condo owner was able to put all of their income toward upsizing, it would still take more than 12 years to have enough money to switch from a condo to a house in Richmond Hill and almost 16 years in Vancouver!

After Vancouver, Richmond Hill, Oakville and Surrey, the cities in Canada with the biggest price gaps between condos and homes are Richmond ($955,887), Markham ($835,618), Vaughan ($788,875) and Toronto ($761,769).

Then, the other cities where upsizing seems pretty unaffordable are Coquitlam ($754,826), Burlington ($716,802), Mississauga ($649,701), Langley ($647,065), Abbotsford ($518,45) and Calgary ($304,076).

While you might think that upsizing is the most difficult in Toronto, Point2 noted that switching from a condo to a house is more achievable in the city compared to Markham and Vaughan.

In those spots, single-family homes go for $835,600 and $789,000 more than apartments, respectively.

It's not all bad news though, because there are still quite a few places in Canada where buying a home is affordable.

To figure out how realistic selling a condo and then buying a house is, Point2 calculated the price-difference-to-income ratio for each city.

That's basically equivalent to the number of years' worth of income it would take to make up the price difference between the two property types.

Trois-Rivières has the lowest price-difference-to-income ratio in Canada at 0.8 which means it would take less than one year of income to cover the $44,000 price gap.

After Trois-Rivières, the Canadian cities with the smallest difference-to-income ratios are

  • Halifax — price gap of $84,400
  • St. John's — price gap of $85,100
  • Regina — price gap of $100,481
  • Lévis — price gap of $103,000
  • Winnipeg — price gap of $105,850
  • Kingston — price gap of $115,600
  • Sherbrooke — price gap of $91,500
  • Gatineau — price gap of $125,000
  • Quebec City — price gap of $111,550
  • Terrebonne — price gap of $155,000
  • Edmonton — price gap of $160,500

In all of those places, it would take less than two years of work for someone who is earning an average income to make up the gap between the price of a condo and the price of a house.

Out of all of the cities where upsizing comes somewhat easier, according to Point2, half are in Quebec which makes the province the best spot to trade in an apartment for a single-family home.

For anyone in Ontario — the province with the most cities where the price difference is more than double — the best places to upsize are Windsor and Kingston.

Recently, new reports from real estate experts have revealed which Canadian cities are the most affordable for buying a house and places where home prices have gotten cheaper in 2023.

Those cities include Winnipeg, Edmonton, Halifax, Saint John, Regina and Quebec City, most of which are on Point2's list of places where it's easier to upsize from a condo to a house.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Lisa Belmonte
Senior Creator
Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Creator for Narcity Media focused on jobs and careers and is based in Ontario.