Buyers have a serious advantage in the winter months! If you’re into that sort of thing…

It might seem counter-intuitive, but moving in the winter—from house-hunting to getting all your worldly belongings from point A to point B—can actually be easier, cheaper and more convenient than any other time of the year. Here’s why it pays to move during the colder months.

Canada vs. US home price comparisons

The price of homes in Canada’s largest cities varies significantly less than south of the border, where Americans face an average anywhere from $86,000 to $3.3 million, new data suggests.

The data was released Thursday by, one of Canada’s largest real estate websites, and was created with information released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Unsurprisingly, the average cost of a home in Canada this year was highest in Metro Vancouver, at $864,556. To afford a home in that range, Canadian families must bring home an annual salary of approximately $140,000.

  • Based on the latest census, the median family income in Canada is $78,870. The infographic suggests that those earning the median income can afford a house priced between $460,000 and $490,000 – slightly more than half of the cost of the average home price in Metro Vancouver.

Outside of Vancouver, the next most expensive Canadian market analyzed is in Kelowna ($785,415), followed by Toronto ($755,755). Abbotsford is fourth, and Victoria is Canada’s sixth-most expensive city based on average home price.

While the prices seem high, a move to some cities south of the border would cost homeowners even more. For sake of comparison, the below prices are listed in Canadian dollars (see note below for more information on conversion).

Just south of Vancouver, the average home price in Seattle is approximately $977,000.

The most expensive city in the U.S. that RentSeeker looked at is Saratoga, Calif., where the median home price is $3,305,158.

Recent statistics from the U.S. list the average annual household income as approximately $72,000. A family bringing in the median annual income could afford a home between $398,000 and $440,000.

The top five most expensive Canadian and American markets are as follows:

  1. Vancouver – $864,556; Saratoga, Calif. – $3,305,158
  2. Kelowna, B.C. – $785,415; San Francisco, Calif. – $2,252,319
  3. Toronto – $755,755; San Jose, Calif. – $1,362,990
  4. Abbotsford, B.C. – $753,939; Brooklyn, N.Y. – $1,074,474
  5. Mississauga, Ont. – $640,108; Seattle, Wash. – $978,136

But heading south could also save Canadians some money, depending on where they chose to live. In some cities, like Detroit, the median home price is as low as $86,356.

The average home price in the Las Vegas area is only $377,934 Canadian.

The least expensive medians of the cities looked at are as follows:

  1. Fredericton – $159,370; Detroit, Mich. – $86,356
  2. Moncton, N.B. – $235,961; Memphis, Tenn. – $213,219
  3. Trois-Rivieres, Que. – $248,503; Columbus, Ohio – $246,127
  4. Sherbrooke, Que. – $251,387; Oklahoma City, Okla. – $263,562
  5. Winnipeg – $284,799; Indianapolis, Ind. – $273,096

RentSeeker looked at a sample of cities across Canada and the U.S. based on highest populations but did not list costs in the Canadian territories because the information was not readily available through the CMHC.

Canadian prices in the infographic are in Canadian dollars, and American prices are listed in U.S. dollars. For the sake of comparison, all U.S. prices have been converted to Canadian dollars in the article above, based on an exchange rate of US$0.74 per C$1 as of Thursday afternoon. Prices have not been converted in the infographic below.

The above story has been edited to reflect that the Vancouver housing price is an average of all types of homes across the Metro Vancouver area. A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that the price was the median for detached homes only.

Affordability in Canada

This report, provided by the Conference Board of Canada & described as, “A new vision for housing in Canada” gets to the point of housing affordability. It’s worth the read, even a glance.

South Okanagan historical sales volume

The best way to figure out where we are headed sometimes is to look in the review mirror. Where have we been? This is a look at the total volume of transactions back to 1980.