Toronto has a well-established reputation for its pricey housing market, and for good reason. With a median household income of just $65,829 and an average home price of $785,223, many homeowners are considering making the move to a more affordable Ontario city.

With this in mind, Zoocasa has released a new report examining which of the province’s housing markets offers the best deal for would-be buyers.

“To determine which markets are most aligned with incomes, Zoocasa calculated the required income to purchase the average home in 28 major markets across the province,” reads the report. “This amount was then compared to the actual median household income in each region, to determine whether local home buyers face an income gap or surplus when attempting to enter the market.”

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Coming in first place is Thunder Bay, with an average home price of $227,750 and an average median income of $66,163. Closing out the top five were Sudbury ($272,523 vs $68,736), Ottawa ($433,684 vs $85,891), Whitby ($632,395 vs $103,809) and Waterloo ($493,358 vs $83,045).

“There were a few common trends that we found among the most affordable markets,” Zoocasa managing editor Penelope Graham tells Livabl. “The first was that each boasted an average home price beneath $500,000, well in line with median incomes and the realm of housing affordability.”

Graham says that both Thunder Bay and Sudbury offer high median incomes and lower housing prices, while Ottawa’s market is supported by a strong government-based job market.

“Perhaps the biggest standout was Whitby, which placed fourth due to a much larger median income,” she shares. “Half of residents earn $103,809 or more, which easily support the average housing price of $632,295 in that region.”

Graham says keeping in mind both average income and average home price is key when considering moving outside the pricey Toronto market.

“Given Toronto’s steep average home price and relatively lower median income, buyers looking for more value can find it in surrounding communities, if they have the flexibility to choose their location,” she says. “Knowing which markets best align with their incomes can go a long way in helping them make more informed real estate choices.”

Check out Zoocasa’s infographic below for a closer look at Ontario’s most affordable housing markets.

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