“First-time buyers often enter the market with an unrealistic list of expectations, but soon find they need to decide on a smaller house or accept a longer commute time,” says Don Lawby, president of CENTURY 21 Canada.
According to Statistics Canada census data, home ownership among Canadians is continuing to increase year after year. The number of homes owned has increased from 6.8 million to 8.5 million, or 24%, between 1996 and 2006, while the population of the country has increased from 28.8 million to 31.6 million, or 10%.
According to the survey, the most expensive cities for first-time buyers based on price per square foot are Vancouver, where a 412-square-foot condo in the downtown is $281,000 or $682 per square foot; the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, where an 800-square-foot bungalow on a 3,500-square-foot lot in East York is $480,000, or $600 per square foot; and downtown Toronto, where a 340-square-foot condo in trendy Liberty Village is $200,000 or $588 per square foot.
The least expensive cities for first-time buyers based on price per square foot are St. John’s (2,150-square-foot two-storey bungalow, $170,000 or $79 per square foot), Halifax (1,408-square-foot semi-detached house, $129,900 or $92 per square foot), Windsor (850-square-foot 1½-storey house, $91,000 or $107 per square foot), London (1,000-square-foot townhouse, $120,000 or $120 per square foot), and Sudbury (969-square-foot 1½-storey house, $140,000 or $144 per square foot).