10/12/2018 11:10 EDT | Updated 10/12/2018 11:11 EDT

These GTA Neighbourhoods Still Have Affordable Detached Homes

"Affordable" being a relative word, of course.

By Wayne Karl

Condos may be king as an affordable housing option for many in the Greater Toronto Area, but let's face it — for some, a detached home is the only choice. Some are lucky enough to climb the property ladder from a semi or townhouse; others are happy to move further out of the city in search of that white picket fence and backyard.

And despite what recent reports would have you believe, there are still some affordable neighbourhoods for single-family homes in the 416 and 905 areas.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
Homes in the Eglinton West neighbourhood of Toronto.

"Affordable" being a relative word, of course, as compared to average prices. As of Sept. 30, 2018, the average price of a detached home in the GTA is $1.01 million — $1.34 million in the 416, and $905,722 in the 905, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

Indeed, there's been no shortage of stories recently about the challenges of the GTA real estate — namely supply, pricing and affordability — on both the resale and new homes sides of the market.

And as the Oct. 22 Ontario municipal elections near, housing industry officials are drawing more and more attention to these issues.

"While higher borrowing costs and tougher mortgage qualification rules have kept sales levels off the record pace set in 2016, many households remain positive about home ownership as a quality long-term investment," Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura said Oct. 3 in releasing TREB's Market Watch Report for September. "As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand. The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region."

So, let's take a look at where some of these relative detached "bargains" are.

First, let's look at some of the hottest areas of the GTA in terms of price growth.

Top five GTA neighbourhoods for price appreciation

Detached homes in 2018
Palmerston-Little Italy,
The Beaches$1.32M$1.50M13
Edenbridge, Humber Valley, Islington$1.43M$1.57M10
Source: ReMax Integra Ontario-Atlantic Region, TREB

Double-digit price growth in just one quarter is fantastic if you currently own in any of these areas. But if you were hoping to buy there, your purchase price just got a lot more expensive — in a matter of months.

Now, let's take a look at some of the comparatively more affordable areas for detached homes in the GTA.

Most affordable neighbourhoods in the 416

Detached homes, Q2 2018
West Humber, Claireville, Rexdale-Kipling,
and Thistletown-Beaumond Heights$732,854
Bendale, Woburn and Morningside$742,670
Malvern, Rouge$752,292
Rockcliffe-Smythe, Keelesdale-Eglinton West, Weston$783,141
Downsview-Roding, Glenfield-Jane Heights, Black Creek$859,215
Source: ReMax Integra Ontario-Atlantic Region, TREB

Most affordable neighbourhoods in the 905

Detached homes, Q2 2018
Source: ReMax Integra Ontario-Atlantic Region, TREB

As you can see, some of the still-affordable areas for detached homes in the GTA — such as Brock (Durham Region) and Georgina — are also performing well in terms of price growth.

In short, Durham Region, Simcoe County and Dufferin County are hot.

In particular, Brock and Essa (Simcoe County), Burlington, Halton Hills, Brampton, Orangeville and Scugog are all showing promise in detached home price growth, according to ReMax Integra, Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region.

Aerial view of houses in Oshawa, Ont. on Nov. 11, 2017.

What makes these areas good potential buying opportunities for detached homes? First, the obvious — pricing. Slightly more than $550,000 in Oshawa, versus $1.5 million in the Beaches, or even the $905,722 average detached home price in the 905? Do the math.

And look at Brock, enjoying 15-per-cent price growth in just one quarter — yet the average price of a detached home is still a palatable $573,951.

Obviously, living in an area such as Durham Region and commuting to Toronto adds travel costs and time. But as these areas develop in terms of economic, job and wage growth and infrastructure expansion, it becomes possible to live and work there.

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Oshawa, for example, is humming. Though dipping slightly from 3.2-per-cent GDP growth in the last two years, the city's economy is forecast to advance a still-healthy 2.6 per cent this year, according to the Conference Board of Canada. It's no coincidence, then, that Oshawa is also a hot bed for new home development at the moment — further driving price growth.

With mortgage industry experts expecting at least one more interest rate hike this year, buyers intent on snapping up detached home "bargains" in these areas... you're on the clock.

This story was originally published on

Wayne Karl is Senior Digital Editor at Homes Publishing

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