04/30/2014 12:48 EDT | Updated 01/28/2015 11:59 EST

These Tiny Homes Are Now Selling For $500K

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, housing in Canada is getting expensive.

The average price of a home in Canada, including condos, surpassed $400,000 last month, and the average price of a single-family home in Toronto just blew past the $1 million mark. (It did so in Vancouver back in 2011.)

As land gets more expensive and scarce, people are coming up with some innovative housing solutions. In Vancouver, for instance, landowners are building laneway homes they rent out for a few grand a month.

But what if you want to own? If $1 million is now the standard price for a standalone home in some of Canada’s biggest markets, half a mil really shouldn’t get you that much.

And data from the real estate industry’s Multiple Listing Service depressingly bears this out. In some of Canada’s housing markets -- namely Toronto, greater Vancouver and Victoria -- $500,000 will get you among the smallest single-family houses available on the market.

Of course what you’re really paying for with these houses is the land. These little homes are mostly in neighbourhoods that were middle- to low-income when they were built, but with house prices soaring, the land those homes are on has become very valuable. And living in a small home has some advantages, a smaller environmental footprint being one of them.

You may notice the listings in the Vancouver area are all outside of Vancouver proper; that’s because tiny homes there cost more than half a million these days; we’ll tackle those houses in a future story, when we find the stomach for it.

Here are some of the tiniest houses on sale in Canada today in the $500,000 range.

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