Lifestyle

Here’s how home prices versus living costs in Toronto compare to other Canadian cities

In recent years, affordability in Toronto has been on a noticeable decline, with everything from rent prices to grocery bills and mortgage payments seeing a dramatic hike, forcing some city dwellers to consider relocating. 

However, a new study reveals that small towns in Canada are also grappling with high food costs and increased expenses when it comes to goods and services, even if it means real estate leans on the cheaper side. 

To analyze how the cost of living has risen in comparison to real estate prices, brokerage Zoocasa assessed the market basket measure (MBM) and benchmark home price data for 15 cities across Canada and compared these to their values five years ago. 

Market Basket Measure data was sourced from Statistics Canada using the most recently available data from 2022, while benchmark home prices were sourced from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in January 2024. 

toronto home prices

How home prices compare to living costs across Canada. Source: Zoocasa.

The report found that although the cost of living is undoubtedly rising across the country, in the majority of the cities analyzed, it still lags behind home price surges. 

In 13 out of 15 cities, home price increases outpaced increases to the market basket measure, which defines the amount a family of four would need to have in disposable income to enjoy a basic standard of living. 

“In other words, a family earning below a city’s market basket measure is considered to be living below the poverty line,” the study reads. 

Unsurprisingly, Vancouver and Toronto were found to have the second and third-highest MBMs, but benchmark prices in both cities did not increase as significantly as smaller cities. 

toronto home prices

How home prices compare to living costs across major Canada cities. Source: Zoocasa.

In Toronto, the MBM increased by 17.6 per cent to $55,262 and the benchmark home price increased by 42.8 per cent to $1,065,800. 

“Modest home price increases in Toronto and Vancouver do not necessarily translate to improved affordability given the already high baseline costs,” said Carrie Lysenko, Chief Executive Officer of Zoocasa. 

Out of all the cities analyzed, the report found that Calgary has the highest MBM at $55,771, while Quebec City has the lowest at $45,411.

“Even in cities where the cost of living is on the rise, the relatively stable home prices present a unique opportunity for homebuyers to enter the market,” Lysenko explained. 

“This underscores the importance of exploring options beyond the primary metropolitan areas or single-family detached homes for those seeking affordability in today’s market.”



Here’s how home prices versus living costs in Toronto compare to other Canadian cities

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Kimia Afshar Mehrabi

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