Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Buy In The GTA?

By: Steven Liambas
February 19, 2022

Would you move further out of the city to secure the type of home you’re looking for within budget?

Given how popular work from home has been in the last few years, the option to choose home type first and city second is opening up to more buyers in Southern Ontario.

Buyers who have their eye on a certain type of home, whether that’s a condo in the city centre or a townhome with a yard for their dog, can save big if they can be flexible on which city in the Toronto Region they’d like to make their purchase in.

To help prospective buyers narrow down which areas they should consider focusing their house search in, Zoocasa has ranked the top five most affordable cities within the bounds of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board to buy a detached home, semi, condo townhouse, and condo apartment based on November 2021 sales data*.

In other words, if finding the right type of home at the right price point is more important to you than buying in any particular city, this report is designed to help you discover which cities to consider in your home search.

Brock is the Most Affordable Place to Purchase a Detached Home

Although the average price for a detached home in the Toronto Region hit $1,567,832 near the end of last year the top five most affordable cities to buy a detached home in the greater region all clock in with an average price under a million dollars – a significant savings of more than $500,000.

Brock, the most affordable city on the list, is a small town in the north end of Durham township. As of 2016, the population reached just over 11,000 – making it a great choice for buyers looking for more space and a small-town lifestyle.

With an average price of $774,500, detached homes here are half the price of the region’s average. However, affordability comes with a proximity tradeoff. Brock is located in the Toronto Region’s farthest north reaches, and nearly borders Lake Simcoe. In good traffic conditions, you can reach Union Station by car in a little over an hour and a quarter, but Barrie and Peterborough are both closer cities – meaning you likely won’t want to commit to a daily, downtown Toronto commute if you’re living here.

If you’re looking to live a little closer to Toronto’s core, Oshawa and Orangeville both offer better connectivity to the rest of the GTA, with detached homes still coming in at an average price of less than a million. If you’re looking for small-town living, Essa (near Barrie) and Scugog (near Port Perry) are other options on the list that round out our top 5 most affordable places to buy a detached home in the Region.

Orangeville is the Most Affordable Place to Buy a Semi-Detached Home

If you’re looking for the spaciousness of a detached home, with a smaller price tag, a semi-detached home can be a great option. When looking at the most affordable places to buy in the GTA, Orangeville tops the list for semis, with the average coming in at $715,000, almost half a million dollars cheaper than TRREB’s average for that same category.

Although like many of the more affordable places to buy, Orangeville is a smaller community on the outskirts of the Region’s reaches. still a city in its own right with a population of nearly 30,000.

When it comes to commuting, under the right traffic conditions you can make it to Union Station by car in less than an hour. If your company is headquartered in Mississauga, Brampton, or Milton you’ll find yourself well within commuting distance, especially if you’re working in a hybrid arrangement.

Durham is another region to consider if you have your eye on a semi. Average prices in the cities of Oshawa and Clarington were $761,002 and $818,583 respectively. Next on the list is Simcoe’s New Tecumseth with an average price of $820,167, with Halton Hills rounding out the top five with an average price of $905,500.

Orangeville is Also the Most Affordable Place to Buy a Condo Townhouse

If things like multiple floors of living space and access to private outdoor space are high on your wishlist,  a condo townhouse might be an affordable option for you to consider. Combining the higher-density building form and ownership structure of a condo, these homes are a great blend of space and affordability, especially for young families.

Regardless of your desired city, the average price in the Toronto Region is $826,475 for a condo townhome, which is well below the average price of all home types. When looking for the most affordable cities to choose from, Orangeville comes out on top again with an average price of $570,625 for this type of home.

The rest of our more affordable options come from Durham Region, with the cities of Oshawa, Whitby, Clarington, and Pickering rounding out the remaining spots on the list.

Oshawa is the Most Affordable Place to Buy a Condo Apartment

Condo apartments are one of the most affordable home types on the market in the Toronto Region today, with the average price as of November hitting $711,933 – a rate that comes in at over half the cost of the average detached home.

Within this category, you can find options with average prices under $400,000 if you consider moving to Oshawa, where the average price for a condo apartment was just $381,795 near the end of 2021.

Compared to some of the other cities that topped our list of affordability, Oshawa is considerably larger and more connected. With a population of 170,071 you’ll find more big-city amenities than what’s offered in Orangeville and Brock.

When it comes to your commute, you can make it downtown in 45 minutes by car in good traffic conditions, and taking public transit to work is a viable option with frequent GO Train service.

Other cities that top the list for the most affordable places to buy a condo apartment in the Toronto Region include Orangeville, New Tecumseth, Brampton, and Newmarket.

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