A friend of mine recently moved to a Vancouver suburb and I was shocked to hear how much it really costs to buy a home there. I think everyone has an idea how expensive homes are in and around Vancouver and Toronto right now, but many people aren't aware of the additional closing costs buyers face across the country. With so many people working remotely, we're starting to see people moving based on housing affordability, so I wanted to share what it actually costs to buy a typical single-family home in major Canadian cities, including the extra expenses buyers pay at closing that are not included in their mortgage. Since averages and medians can be misleading, I'm going to base these calculations on the MLS® Home Price Index. The HPI basically determines what the typical property will sell for in major markets across Canada. You can find more information about the HPI Index at https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/mls-home-price-index/. As an example, the benchmark single-family home in Edmonton 1317 square foot 3-bedroom 2.5-bathroom home with a finished basement, and a double attached garage. I reached out to CREA to get benchmark descriptions for the other cities but they would not provide them. I am basing this analysis on the minimum possible down payments - a first-time buyer can put as little as 5% down on a property up to $500,000. If a first-time buyer is looking to buy a property over $500k, they have to put down 5% up to $500k, plus 10% on the balance. For example, on a $600,000 property, they would need 5% of $500k plus 10% of the remaining $100k, so $35,000. If the purchase price is over $1million dollars the mortgage cannot be insured so the buyers would have to have a 20% minimum down payment. Ranked from low to high, based on minimum closing costs, here is what you can expect to spend on a typical single-family home for a sampling of cities across Canada (not all cities are included in the HPI at this time) along with the cost of living for each city (from numbeo.com - the world's largest cost of living database), land transfer tax (from https://www.ratehub.ca/land-transfer-tax), and property taxes (from https://wowa.ca/calculators/property-tax). I have not included additional closing costs like lawyer's fees, appraisals, inspections, or mortgage insurance as they can vary depending on the situation. Just for fun, I'm including the cost of a bottle of J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, a litre of gas and a litre of milk (before tax, as of the time of publishing).
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