Canadian real estate is a tricky devil often making first-time buyers nervous to jump in feet first. It’s not only a scary prospect for buyers but sellers as well. After all, it’s your number one asset and you want to protect it. This can lead to reduced inventories as homeowners fear losing out by selling at the wrong time.

Right now, Canada has a lot to offer despite some of the crazy prices that have run amok in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Even though prices have cooled in these megacities, they are still out of reach price-wise for most Canadians. So where is the average Canuck supposed to find an affordable home? Here’s four up and coming Canadian real estate spots we think you might just find a happy home.

Windsor, Ontario

This is one of those Canadian cities that has gotten a bum rap for many years, even decades. In fact, around the time of the Great Recession for our southern neighbour’s the market here was downright appalling. But guess what? Local politicians took action at this time and tried to make changes to the city’s economic prospects making them seem brighter. Despite the terrors of auto industry challenges, the city is rebuilding itself and making it a more appealing area to call home.

According to MoneySense, it’s the number one place in Canada to buy real estate. Windsor is trying to bring in investors from both local and international business. In mid-April, FCA Canada decided it would invest $355 million (U.S.) into the Windsor assembly plant. This will hopefully help counterbalance the estimated loss of 1,500 jobs due to a shift cancellation. It could save another 7,500 jobs.

The Toronto Sun reported the city has also seen the lowest unemployment rate, which dropped to a 15-year low.  This spring $100 million in development proposals were approved for downtown community improvements that include a 120-unit condo development.

When it comes to Windsor real estate, statistics from the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors show a 20% increase over last year for the average price of a home, which sat at $322,109 in February 2019. The city is also seeing record-breaking highs in new home construction. Agents are trying to attract retirees from the Greater Toronto Area to make a killing on their million-dollar homes. Relocation to the area will provide them with a comparable home while leaving them a ton of cash that’s completely pocketable.

Mission, BC

In 2018, MoneySense had Mission, B.C. as its top pick for places to live in the Greater Vancouver area. The area sits at a respectable #8 for 2019 for all of Canada. In a city where housing prices are way out of reach for most people, this area brings value to those who are not averse to a one-hour commute.

So, what do we mean by affordable? We’re talking 70% cheaper than Greater Vancouver prices. Although prices are well below the million-dollar mark, they still average $822,100 according to MoneySense’s most recent numbers.

The area is pretty too, located on the north bank of the Fraser River. It has views of Abbotsford and is also central to all those outdoorsy things B.C. is known for so if you’re active this is a great spot. You still have city amenities with Abbotsford there, and as mentioned an hour to Vancouver gets you into the heart of all things urban.

One caveat: You might have to take your time looking, as some buyers aren’t so keen on the houses available. They are varied, but with some gumption, you can find yourself something that suits your taste and budget.

Gatineau, QC

If you’re looking for a place near our nation’s capital, Gatineau is an excellent option. Located across the river from Ottawa, you’ll get far more bang for your buck. According to MoneySense the average home in Ottawa will cost $400,800, while you’ll pay just $269,447 across the river.

Annual sales growth for 2018 was over 6% with 1,469 transactions making Gatineau the second fastest-growing housing market in Quebec according to the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards. It’s seeing a healthy value increase as well, rising 3% year over year in 2018.

But there’s more to Gatineau than affordable homes. Because it is directly across from Ottawa’s downtown area, you’re looking at a much easier commute than you would from many of Ottawa’s more affordable suburbs. You’re also minutes away from all that culture, dining and shopping.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

So, looking at the national list from MoneySense the top choice in Manitoba lands on Winnipeg. Although 17th nationally, it has an average housing price of $302,777. Global News reported millennials were being squeezed out of the Manitoba market back in June of this year, with average home prices 12% higher than what someone 25-34 can afford. However, it’s not as bad as Ontario and B.C.

According to CREA, Winnipeg saw its strongest third quarter of market activity on record. They also broke a new sales record in August with July and September right up there as well. “Good economic fundamentals, growth in our membership and market region well beyond Winnipeg, a healthy listing supply and favourable mortgage rates despite tougher qualifications rules, is behind the impressive market activity we have had this third quarter,” says Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However, it is important to keep in mind and be attentive to just how competitive the current market is with so many listings for buyers to choose from.”

In other words, high inventory is helping keep housing prices more affordable. Another good thing? CREA also reports a recent survey in The Canadian Press shows Winnipeggers paying amongst the lowest proportion of their income every month towards their mortgages.

If you’re feeling a little gun shy about the Canadian real estate market in your area, there are always new opportunities on the horizon. These are just a few examples of where affordable housing abounds. Speak to our team to get the best options in your area.