This article was originally published in April 2018
Brantford, Ontario, might seem like an unlikely choice as Canada's new number one city for buying a house. But, according to this annual analysis, Brantford's booming economy and affordability make it an ideal place for settling down.
Brantford is home to about 100,000 people, and is more famously known as "Telephone City" (the place where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone) and Wayne Gretzky's hometown. Brantford boasts low unemployment, a growing downtown scene, and unbelievably low housing prices compared to other cities outside of Toronto. According to Brantford mayor Chris Friel, “You can sell your home in Mississauga for $720,000 and buy the same home in Brantford for $420,000.”
Brantford, Ont. is known for its Nutella and for being the hometown of one of hockey's greats. This year, it's also the best city to buy real estate in all of Canada. Learn more: https://t.co/znWs6EOpfi pic.twitter.com/CEhIeTVFdf
Brantford is part of an area in southern Ontario known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which stretches from Niagara to Peterborough. Cities in the Golden Horseshoe region are seeing a steady rise in housing values, as Toronto home buyers are starting to look for new places to live that offer city living at more reasonable prices.
Large enough to enjoy all the amenities of city living, and rural enough to experience the small-town community feel. Brantford is over 100 kilometres outside of downtown Toronto, which kind of sucks for commuters. But, the city's well connected to GO Public Transit and is in close proximity to bigger cities like Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo. Not to mention all the beautiful small towns along the way.
Fun fact, Brantford is also where Nutella is made. Brantford residents love Nutella so much that they host a World Nutella Day celebration every February. If we weren't sold on Brantford already, we definitely are now.
* Update May 24, 2019
Coming in at 66th place on MoneySense's list of "Canada’s Best Places to Live for Low Taxes: Top 100 Cities," it seems that Brantford's real estate market is still booming.
According to Redline Properties, there's no shortage of options for those seeking to purchase a home, as the city is one of three local real estate markets to have experienced a large influx of homes for sale as of this past May. Plus, sales are already tracking ahead of the numbers recorded for 2018. People aren't wasting any time!
As you can see, Brantford beat out the two other local real estate markets, having sold 164 homes in April - up more than 17% from last year. Not only that, but 59% of buyers have been lucky enough to snag their new detached homes for under asking price.
Redline Properties advises that, if you're looking to purchase a house this spring, be prepared for lots of competition in a highly active market. Expect new homes on the market being sold at good prices to have several bidders and sell quickly.
There were 290 new listings last month, a 17% increase from last year. Incredibly enough, they only stayed up for grabs on the market for just over three weeks. Not only was Brantford's real estate market still quite active during the winter, but the trend has continued into the spring and is expected to progress into the summer.
As you can see, it's still better to purchase a home in Brantford, as it's one of the most affordable cities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
It's worth mentioning though, that if you're single and looking to buy a place, In Brampton compiled a list of the top five places to purchase if you make less than $50,000 a year.
Coming in first place? Regina, with an average home price of $284,444, requiring a minimum income of $38,798. Based on the average income of its city dwellers ($58,823), this would theoretically leave them with an income surplus of $20,025. Who wouldn't want to put extra money like that in the bank, am I right?
In second place was Saint John, followed by Edmonton, then Saskatoon, and finally St. John's, with an expected income surplus of $11,694.
If you're curious as to the least affordable place for single buyers to purchase a home, well, you probably guessed it: Vancouver.
The city's average home price of a whopping $1,019,600 means you'd have to earn at least $139,082 per year. Thing is, with an average income of only $50,721, you actually end up with an income gap of $88,361. That's right, over $88,000 of debt every year.
That's definitely not a position you want to put yourself in.