Here’s how much $1 million will buy you in Toronto’s housing market

What type of home can you score with a $1 million budget? That answer depends on where you live — and in Toronto, you can expect less square footage and fewer bedrooms than the rest of the country, according to a new report.

The Royal LePage Million-Dollar Properties report looked at $1 million properties across the country to determine what a budget of $1 million can get you when it comes to housing in some of the biggest Canadian cities. In 2023, the average Canadian home valued at $950,000 to $1,050,000 had 3.2 bedrooms, 2.1 bathrooms and 1,760 square feet of living space across all property types.  

In the Greater Toronto Area, by comparison, that square footage dropped considerably: the average home valued at that amount had 3 bedrooms, 2.3 bathrooms and 1,459 square feet of living space, 301 square feet less than the national average. 

Shawn Zigelstein, broker and team leader of Team Zold, Royal LePage Your Community, noted that $1 million is the entry-level price point for most property types in Toronto — yikes! “With this budget, a two-bedroom condominium or condo-townhome is realistic,” he said.

Zigelstein noted that a budget closer to $2 million is needed to get larger, updated properties in “desirable” downtown neighbourhoods — but if buyers take their home search into the GTA suburbs, larger properties are available for $1 million. 

That’s no surprise, considering the average $1 million home in the city of Toronto is even smaller than the GTA average — 2.8 bedrooms, 1.9 bathrooms and 1,218 square feet of living space – 241 square feet less than the GTA, and 542 square feet less than the national average. 

The report found that Ontarians are certainly aware of our province’s affordability problem: 31 per cent of Ontarians say that a budget of $1 million is ‘not enough’ to afford a home that meets their household’s needs in their current city, compared to just 12 per cent of those living in Alberta and 8 per cent in Quebec. 

In fact, 59 per cent of respondents in Quebec say that a budget of $1 million in today’s real estate market is ‘more than enough’ to afford a home that meets their household’s needs — in Ontario, only 30 per cent of respondents agreed with that statement. At least we’re not British Columbia, where only 18 per cent of respondents agreed!

In the GTA, the report found that the number of homes sold over $1 million has increased “dramatically” over the past six years, particularly during the pandemic real estate boom. Rising home prices have put pressure on the lower end of Toronto’s real estate market, and the report noted that buyers who can’t afford a 20 per cent down payment on a $1 million home will look elsewhere around the GTA.

“Those shopping in the $1-million segment are mostly first-time buyers, newcomers and young families who are looking to transition from a rental into home ownership,” Zigelstein said. 

As the value increases in Toronto, the gap between the city and Canada doesn’t close — the average home valued between $1,950,000 and $2,050,000 in Toronto had 3.5 bedrooms, 2.7 bathrooms and 2,075 square feet of living space. That’s 526 square feet less than the national average.

In the GTA, at least, $2 million homes surpass the Canadian average, with 3.8 bedrooms, 3.1 bathrooms and 2,692 square feet, 191 square feet more than the national average.

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