While the glory days of finding an abundance Greater Toronto Area (GTA) non-condo homes for less than $1 million may be behind us, houses at this price point aren’t extinct (yet).

Though increasingly rare, buyers can currently find a house for less than $1 million throughout the notoriously pricey region. They may not exactly be mansions, but — in this market and in this economy — most first-time homebuyers take what they can get.

To determine where houses were selling for less than $1 million in April, Canadian real estate platform Wahi analyzed non-condo transactions – detached and semi-detached homes, row homes, and townhomes without maintenance fees. Out of the 4,172 non-condo transactions in April, 1,176 (or about 28%) sold for under $1 million, according to a Wahi analysis of Toronto Regional Real Estate Board and Information Technology Systems Ontario data.

According to the data, 20 out of 20 communities across the GTA had median sold prices for non-condos below the $1 million mark in April. There was, however, one community that stood out from the rest on the price front. A selection of homes for less than $1 million can be found in Durham, about an hour’s drive east of Toronto's downtown core. Six of the top 10 most affordable municipalities for single-family homes were in Durham, led by the rapidly-growing Oshawa.

Oshawa had the lowest median price ($775,000) for non-condo housing anywhere in the GTA. The city also saw the second-highest count of single-family homes sell for below $1 million across any GTA community. According to Wahi, some 143 single-family homes sold for less than $1 million in Oshawa last month. This is behind only Brampton, where 215 homes sold in this price bracket in April. Meanwhile, Scarborough placed third, with 123 transactions.

GTA Homes

Most of these (relatively) affordable non-condo homes were of modest size, with two or three bedrooms. Only Durham’s Township of Brock had the median sale price for four-bedroom homes in the six-figure range ($942,500).

The report highlights that there’s more to consider than selling price and sales volume if you’re in the market for a GTA house for less than $1 million. “Bidding activity affects how attainable an area is and how likely homebuyers are to get a deal,” it reads. The vast majority of communities where houses sold for a median price of under $1 million were in overbidding territory in April, according to Wahi. While overbidding activity declined in the GTA last month, it was strongest for non-condos under $1 million.

“All but four communities were in overbidding territory,” reads the report. “However, 16 of 28 in the $1 million to $1.49 million bracket were underbid, and all but three in the $1.5+ bracket were underbid. “Four homes in the region did sell for below-asking."

GTA Homes

Wahi also ranked GTA communities by their median underbid/overbid amounts, to determine which regions had the best conditions for homebuyers (a lower median overbid amount suggests less bidding competition). Despite Durham’s more attainable home prices, the region saw a few communities where bidding activity was “relatively tame,” according to Wahi.

Homebuyers on a budget found the best market conditions in Brock, the third most-affordable community for single-family homes. Looking at the difference between list and sold prices for under $1 million, Brock saw a median underbid of $18,900 below asking for single-family homes.

As we move further into the warmer months, the GTA is generally seeing a calmer market than typical — much like the rest of the country.

Real Estate News