Half of residents in Canada’s largest urban centres eyeing move to more affordable real estate markets

May 31, 2024 3 min. read

Royal LePage® recently released its 2024 Most Affordable Canadian Cities Report

The Royal LePage 2024 Most Affordable Canadian Cities Report includes insights into the country’s most affordable cities and survey findings from residents living in Canada’s three largest urban centres. The report found that Thunder Bay tops the list of most affordable cities in Canada where 22.2 per cent of a household’s monthly income would be required to service a mortgage payment.

“There’s an old saying in real estate, ‘drive until you qualify.’ As housing affordability continues to deteriorate and Canadians face increasingly higher barriers to entry when buying a home, this adage is becoming more of a reality. Many aspiring homeowners in the country’s largest and priciest urban centres are seriously considering relocating to less expensive cities in order to get a foot on the property ladder,” said Karen Yolevski, COO, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

“Compared to existing homeowners who have already set down roots, we know that renters are more likely to move to be able to afford a home. This flexibility is supported by the post-pandemic permanence of remote work opportunities, which continues to allow workers in many sectors to seek out housing that is within their budget, without worrying about proximity to their office,” added Yolevski. “In today’s higher borrowing cost environment, where the price of everyday goods has increased in tandem with interest rates, homebuyers are considering buying a home in a more affordable community.”

  • Thunder Bay tops the list of most affordable cities in Canada
  • Of the 15 most affordable cities in Canada, four are located in the province of Quebec and four in the Atlantic provinces; no British Columbia cities made the list
  • 54% of respondents in the Greater Montreal Area, 51% in the Greater Toronto Area and 45% in Greater Vancouver would consider relocating to one of the most affordable cities
  • Quebec City is the most popular destination among respondents in Greater Montreal, while Edmonton is the top-ranking choice among Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver residents
  • Renters are more likely than owners to consider relocating based on housing affordability
  • Besides home prices, lower cost of living is the most popular reason to consider relocating, followed by a desire for proximity to nature and a more relaxed lifestyle