Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

January 14, 2024

Houses come in many different varieties: some affordable, others with incredibly high prices, and others fall in the middle. We researched dozens of places in various provinces to find the cheapest place to buy a house in Canada and identified several that offer the best features at the lowest price.

Housing in Canada isn’t cheap because of things like low-interest rates, foreign investors, strict government policies, increased demand, and low supply. However, places like Melville in Saskatchewan, Edmundston in New Brunswick, and Fort Nelson in BC offer average home prices way below both the provincial and national averages. In some places, you’ll find homes for as little as $50,000, whereas in the more populated provinces, you may find a dreamhouse for just under $200,000.

Are you dreaming of owning a home in Canada but feeling discouraged by the high prices? Don't lose hope yet! There are still some places in Canada where you can find affordable homes in 2023.

In this post, we'll explore some of the cheapest regions and cities to buy a house in Canada in 2023, based on the average home prices. We'll also look at some of the factors that affect the housing market and the cost of living in different areas.

Whether you're looking for a cozy cottage, a spacious bungalow, or a modern condo, you might be surprised by how much you can get for your money in some of these places. Let's dive in!

What Is The Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada?

Finding an affordable house in Canada largely depends on the province, the location of the house within the province, the size of the house, the condition of the house, and a slew of other factors.

Also, the prices of houses in the various provinces are determined by the economic status of the province or city in Canada. For instance, purchasing a house in a major city like Vancouver or Toronto will cost more than a house in, say, Edmonton or Regina. In major Canadian provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, some of the cheapest house options are still expensive, costing upwards of half a million dollars.

With the increased cost of living, the cost of purchasing a house in Canada is not reducing in the foreseeable future. However, there are still regions in each province that have more affordable options if you're on a tighter budget.

So, from the cheapest to the most expensive, we compiled a list of the cities in each Canadian province, except Nunavut and Prince Edward Island, where you can buy a house for a more affordable price.

Note that the prices below are the average costs of a single-family home, townhouse, and apartment. Usually, the cost of purchasing an apartment falls below the average price by $50,000 or more.

#1 Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, provinces to buy a house in Canada, with an average house price of $329,700 as of October 2022.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

Here are some of the cheapest places you can purchase a house in Saskatchewan:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Moose Jaw$209,000$970$1,194
Swift Current$242,450$1,041$1,138

As you can see, it’s possible to find a house in Saskatchewan for just a little over $50,000, which is more than manageable. Other places like Saskatoon, though, are quite further from reach.

#2 New Brunswick

New Brunswick holds the title for being Canada’s cheapest province to buy houses, with an average house cost of $292,744 as of October 2022. Aside from having affordable houses, some cities in New Brunswick have the lowest crime rates in Canada.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

So, here are some of the cities in New Brunswick where you can buy houses for cheap:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Saint John$240,185$895$1,300

Notice that houses in Edmundston are almost half the average price as in the entire province.

#3 Manitoba

Home to the Winterpeg and the Heart of the continent, Manitoba is one of Canada’s provinces where you can find amazing houses at affordable prices. A house in Winnipeg, Manitoba, sells for an average price of $377,000.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

In Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,050, while the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment goes for $1,550.

However, there are other places in Manitoba where you can buy a house for less than half of that:

CityAverage Cost Of A House
Dufferin Industrial$140,459
William Whyte$142,620
North Point Douglas$156,671
Central Park$161,563
Lord Selkirk Park$164,556
Weston $165,295

#4 Newfoundland And Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador offers a very affordable real estate market with an average housing price of $291,766.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

Here are some of the cities in Newfoundland and Labrador where you can buy houses at even lower rates:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Corner Brook$139,695$728$1,102
Grand Falls-Windsor$160,903$850$1,100
Conception Bay South$229,023$700$807
St John’s$332,540$900$1,200
Labrador City$346,258$1,041$1,138
Mount Pearl$367,329$1,029$1,203

#5 Nova Scotia

With its ocean-front and waterside view, Nova Scotia is heralded as one of the most peaceful places to live in Canada, with an average house price of $385,756 as of October 2022. It’s one of the best places to buy the house of your dreams, be it a condo, a multi-bedroom family home, an apartment, or even a condominium for cheap.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

Here are some of the cities in Nova Scotia with the most affordable houses:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
New Glasgow$247,632$831$1,102

#6 Alberta

Alberta is one of Canada's major provinces with a lower cost of living compared to other major provinces like British Columbia and Ontario.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

Alberta also has one of the most affordable real estate markets in Canada’s big-city scene. So, you'll be able to find a house at a relatively cheap rate while still living in the big city.

Here are some of the places to buy the most affordable houses in Alberta:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Peace River$223,731$500$950
Medicine Hat$272,801$950$1,200
Red Deer$315,731$700$985
Grande Prairie$318,384$900$1,400
Cold Lake$318,391$750$1,000
Stony Plain$335,049$800$1,200
Sylvan Lake$360,929$700$900

#7 Quebec

Being the largest Canadian province by area and the second largest by population, Quebec is a great option for purchasing a house in a big city for an affordable price. The province is also known for having one of the lowest living costs in Canada.

Quebec City Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

With its large cities, Quebec offers cheap and affordable options for people looking to become homeowners but have a tight budget. Here are some of the cities in Quebec that provide houses at cheap rates:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Quebec City$325,600$942$1,200

#8 British Columbia

British Columbia is one of the major provinces in Canada and houses major cities like Vancouver. However, it is also one of the most expensive places to live or buy a house in Canada. For instance, buying a house in Vancouver costs upwards of a million dollars.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023

However, there are little cities and towns in British Columbia where you can buy houses for affordable prices. Keep in mind that in most of Canada's major provinces, like British Columbia, the cheaper options may still be very expensive.

So, here are the `cheaper` places to buy a house in British Columbia:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Fort Nelson$165,729$532$780
Port Hardy$214,897$550$890
Prince George$342,493$1,105$1,370
Dawson Creek$358,000$896$1,073
Williams Lake$392,642$1000$1,500
Prince Rupert$470,250$1,200$1,693
Fort St James$474,387$900$1,300

Notice that the average home price in Fort Nelson is lower than the cheapest options in some of the smaller provinces we talked about above.

#9 Ontario

Ontario is Canada's most populous and second-largest province and also houses the country's capital city, Ottawa. Like British Columbia, Ontario is a major business hub. Consequently, the prices of real estate in Ontario have been on a steady rise reaching an average of $943,568 in October 2022.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada In 2023
City skyline view of CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from the marina along Lake Ontario

However, here are a few places in Ontario where you can still get reasonably priced houses, albeit at a much higher price than in other provinces:

CityAverage Cost Of A HouseAverage Rent For 1-Bedroom ApartmentAverage Rent For 2-Bedroom Apartment
Thunder Bay$326,000$1,000$1,200
Rainy River$359,000
Deep River$400,000$1,400$1,700

Finding an apartment to rent in Rainy River is challenging as the town doesn't have apartments for rent. However, with less than $1,000, you can rent a private cottage.

Why Are Houses So Expensive In Canada?

Being a homeowner is the dream of many Canadians. So, it might shock you as a first-time homebuyer when you start browsing through the real estate market and discover that houses in Canada have become eye-watering and expensive and do not seem to be going down anytime soon. Housing prices in Canada are still extremely high, and there are lots of reasons house prices have skyrocketed. Some of them include:

  • Low-interest rates
  • Foreign investors
  • Strict government policies
  • High immigration rates
  • Urban migration
  • Increased demand
  • Low supply

Let’s look at each of these causes in turn.

Low-Interest Rates

Until recently, Canada has had a long-standing history of having very low-interest rates on houses. The low-interest rates, on the one hand, encourage potential buyers to buy houses while discouraging sellers. As a result, bidding wars among buyers make the houses already on sale shoot up.

Foreign Investors

Canada's open policies on foreign investment have led to an influx of foreign investors. An increase in foreign investors is good for any country. However, the Canadian real estate market has recently begun to feel the strain of foreign investment.

Foreign investors usually have a lot of money on their hands. In the real estate market, foreign investors typically put in a lot of money to try to buy up most of the available houses on the market and then resell these houses for a profit.

Usually, they try to purchase the cheaper options that the average Canadian looking to buy a house would go for, as this will give them higher profits when resold. This leads to regular citizens competing against these investors and trying to outbid them by offering a higher amount to purchase the house.

However, the Toronto government has implemented a 15% foreign tax on houses to help combat the rising costs of houses in Toronto and the effects of foreign investment.

Strict Government Policies

The building policies enforced by the Canadian government are more restrictive than in other countries. These policies and regulations, which may vary in each province, have resulted in a lower number of new houses built each year. It has also led to an increased cost of building construction. The fewer houses and high construction costs ultimately lead to higher housing prices.

High Immigration Rates

Canada is very friendly towards immigrants and ranks eighth in the world for having the highest number of immigrants. With its low population rate, an increased influx of immigrants with no proposed residential area into the pool of home seekers increases the demand and competition for the already limited number of houses on the market. This results in housing prices shooting up.

Urban Migration

Canada is the second largest country in the world by size. However, most Canadians move to and live in urban areas due to increased job opportunities, modernization, and general economic value. In contrast, the vast rural and northern regions are left sparsely populated. Also, most of Canada's populace is aggregated towards the US-Canada border.

This concentration leads to high demand for homes with the same features causing a strain on the real estate market. In major economically-active cities like Toronto and Vancouver, this causes housing prices to rise significantly.

Increased Demand And Low Supply

With the high immigration rate, rural-urban migration, an influx of foreign investors looking to make a profit, and Canadians and immigrants looking to buy their first homes to settle in, there is a higher demand for houses than is available on the market and this causes a strain on the Canadian real estate market leading to astronomical highs in the price of homes.

Accompanying the high demand is the low supply or availability of houses in the country. Coupled with the restrictive government policies, the insufficient supply of houses leads to high competition over the few houses available on the market. This competition usually sparks high bidding wars, which generally results in the more affluent party outbidding the lower-income party. Hence, due to the prices, the houses on the market are usually purchased by the wealthy populace over the average or lower-income earning people.

7 Things To Consider Before Buying A House In Canada

Buying a new house is a big decision and is more than just finances, even if it's your dream home. There are several things you'll need to consider and factor into your long-term plans. If you think you're ready to be a homeowner or are just considering the prospect for future purposes, here are 7 things you'll need to keep in mind:

#1 Your Finances/Budget

Before fixating on your idea of a dream house, you must first consider your budget and finances and if you can afford said dream house. While buying your dream house is a great accomplishment, it can also pose a liability, especially if it is way out of your budget. So, to avoid taking on a huge loan and placing your house as collateral, it's best to consider options within your budget.

#2 Mortgage Options

You can't do away with the fact that the money you may have presently may not be enough to pay for the house in full. Also, if you've already pinpointed the house you want to buy, you cannot put off buying the house until you have the total amount because the house might have been sold to another person by then.

You can get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting so that you'll have an idea of the mortgage amount you'll be able to afford and subsequently save time and energy when you eventually start looking for a house.

When you finally purchase the house, you can choose from any mortgage options, such as the fixed rate mortgage, variable rate mortgage, or the portfolio mortgage options for your mortgage repayment plan. If the house you want to purchase is a long-term investment, choosing the fixed-rate mortgage repayment option is your safest bet.

A mortgage might be the biggest loan you'll ever receive, so you must ensure that all your debts are paid before taking on a mortgage.

#3 Insurance

Before purchasing a house, ensure an insurance plan is in place in case of any mishaps or emergencies. However, the insurance plan should be such that it will insure you from any casualty or disaster but not be a financial burden.

#4 The Location Of The House

The location of the house you want to buy is an essential factor you must consider before purchasing the house. Depending on your preferences, you may want a house in a quiet neighborhood or with many neighbors. Also, you should ensure that the house is located in an area with good internet connection and network coverage and is within a reasonable distance of places like the hospital, the police station, the school, the market, the mall, or even your workplace.

Another critical factor is that the house should not be in a crime-dominated area. So, it's always a good idea to search for past crimes in the area as well as the safety of the neighborhood, especially if you usually come home from work at night.

#5 The Size Of The House

If you have a family, are expecting to have one, or frequently have friends, family members, and guests over, consider a bigger house with more rooms. Also, if you're outdoorsy or have pets or kids, you should consider a house with more outdoor space.

#6 The Condition Of The House

The state of your prospective house is a significant factor to consider before actually purchasing the house. Although it might cost you some extra money, always inspect the house thoroughly and check the condition of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, roofing, plumbing, and electrical wiring systems. Find out those you may be able to repair or replace and those you may not be able to.

#7 Additional Costs

Usually, the actual cost of the house or the down payment is only one of many costs you'll have to pay. There are several hidden costs you'll have to factor into your budget while planning to purchase a house.

Some additional costs you may have to cover include:

  • Appraisal fee
  • Home inspection fee
  • Land registration fee
  • Mortgage loan insurance premium
  • Property insurance
  • Prepaid property taxes and utility bills
  • Legal fees
  • Title insurance
  • Estoppel certificate fee (if you're buying a condominium)
  • Survey or certificate of location cost

How To Save Money When Buying A House In Canada

With housing prices in Canada going through the roof, especially in major cities, buying a house can seem unachievable. However, if you're a first-time home buyer and are still learning the ropes, there are several ways you can save a couple of bucks while navigating your way around the Canadian real estate market.

#1 Make Use Of The First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

The First-time Homebuyer Incentive is a Canadian government-sponsored non-refundable tax credit that allows you to go into a shared equity mortgage with the Canadian government via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The program allows the government to share in the profit of your home.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ll receive 5 to 10% of the total cost of purchasing a newly built or constructed home, 5% for a new or reconstructed mobile home, and 5% for an existing home.

#2 Rent Out A Room

If the house you buy or want to buy is large enough and has an extra living space, you can rent out the extra space to get some extra cash.

#3 Claim The GST/HST Housing Rebate

You can claim the GST/HST housing rebate if you purchase a newly constructed or recently renovated house. You can claim the rebate on the sales taxes you were charged. You’ll have to meet the GST/HST housing rebate eligibility requirements to claim it. If you’re qualified, you’ll be able to save some extra money.

#4 Take A Loan From Your RRSP Account

If you’re a first-time homebuyer and have not lived in a house owned by you or your partner, you can borrow some money off your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) account to make a downpayment for a house you want to purchase.

The maximum amount you can borrow or withdraw from your RRSP account is $35,000. If your spouse or common-law partner is also a first-time homebuyer, they can borrow another $35,000, making that a total of $70,000. The loan is non-taxable, and you’ll have to repay it in 15 years. However, it’s a great way to lower your mortgage amount and, subsequently, your monthly mortgage repayment.

Final Thoughts

Buying a house is an outstanding achievement. Still, with astronomical housing prices in Canada, it is crucial to find the most affordable way and the cheapest place to buy a house in Canada while still having access to the basic amenities.

From our list, the cheapest places to buy a house in Canada are Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, and both provinces have the advantage of having low crime rates. Toronto and Vancouver, on the other hand, house some of the most expensive houses in the country.

You can also use our tips to help you save money when purchasing a house. While finding an affordable home is essential, ensure that the house you want to buy is in good condition, has insurance, has a good location, and meets your needs.

Cheapest Place To Buy A House In Canada FAQs

Where is the most affordable place to buy a house in Canada?

The most affordable places or provinces to buy a house in Canada are Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Both provinces have cities that offer houses at very cheap rates, and they both have some of the lowest crime rates in Canada.

Which Canadian province has the lowest cost of living?

The Canadian province with the lowest cost of living is Quebec. This is because rents in Quebec are much cheaper than in other provinces, and their electricity tariffs are way below the country’s average.

Where is housing cheapest in Ontario?

The cheapest house prices in Ontario as of November 2022 are offered in Fort Nelson, where the average house price is $165,729.

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