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Canadian real estate market: Major cities top list of worst spots to buy


They're the hottest real estate markets in the country, but Vancouver and Toronto are also ranked the worst places in Canada when it comes to making a purchase.

An annual ranking from MoneySense and Zoocasa Realty puts the cities last in its latest "Where to Buy Real Estate in Canada" report.

The list of 45 regions, released Monday, assigns Vancouver a rating of zero stars, saying it's still – unsurprisingly to residents and prospective buyers – the most financially challenging market in the country.

The data used in the report includes the average home price of $1,230,200 last year, representing a 19 per cent increase over a three-year period.

Those who bought in Toronto, a city given 0.7 stars and ranked second-last, have seen more growth over three years (34 per cent), and last year saw an average price about $200,000 less than Vancouver's.

The rankings were based on average home prices, price growth over time, neighbourhood characteristics and economics, Zoocasa said in a statement about the list. The brokerage company said the findings looked at value and demand, and show what CEO Lauren Haw called a "transition period" into a "more balanced market."

Also ranked among the worst spots to buy are the Ontario regions of Oakville-Milton (0.9 stars), Mississauga (1.1 stars) and Burlington (1.3 stars).

Of those, Burlington buyers saw the most growth over three years, with the average home price now up 67 per cent.

Back on the west coast, the Fraser Valley and Victoria both are bad places to buy, according to the report.

The Fraser Valley, which includes the B.C. city of Abbotsford saw an average price increase of 42 per cent, while in the provincial capital region, buyers are spending an average of 34 per cent more than three years ago.

Those regions earned 1.5 and 1.7 stars, respectively.

Calgary got 1.8 stars, though the increase in average price over three years is just 11 per cent.

As for where buyers should look, communities in the top 10 are all in New Brunswick and Ontario.

The Greater Moncton area of New Brunswick, where buyers can get a home for the benchmark price of $302,400, got top marks, followed by the Ontario regions of North Bay, Quinte West, Tillsonburg, London and St. Thomas, and Huron Perth.

The New Brunswick cities of Saint John and Fredericton were in the top 10, as were the Grey-Bruce Owen Sound area and the Brantford region, both in Ontario.

Provincial capitals Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg and St. John's, as well as the federal capital of Ottawa, were all ranked among the lowest when sorting the list by "value."

Vancouver Island, Kamloops and Chilliwack, B.C. are all in the middle, as is Halifax. Charlottetown and Quebec City aren't on the list, and no territories were included either. Top Stories

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