The largest cities are still quite attractive to home buyers

Price only goes so far in influencing many Canadians’ home purchase decisions

The largest cities are still quite attractive to home buyers

Despite a tendency towards elevated prices, Canada’s largest cities still boast of multiple factors that make them attractive to home buyers, according to the findings of a new RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger.

“While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change,” RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive VP Christopher Alexander stated. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live.”

In the RE/MAX analysis, Vancouver only ranked medium in terms of population growth, housing supply, and availability of retail stores. However, the market has proved especially attractive due to its public transit options, particularly the “exceptional” Skytrain and bus system. The city also ranked high in walkability, especially in Yaletown.

“Main, West End and Kerrisdale are the top three all-around liveable neighbourhoods in Vancouver while Mount Pleasant, Downtown-Vancouver West, and Renfrew-Collingwood are the most affordable,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, Toronto ranked medium in terms of access to green spaces/parks, and high in population growth, retail store availability, and healthcare access.

“The neighbourhoods that rated highest for access to green space and parks – Rosedale, Leaside and The Beaches – are also the most expensive. Conversely, Toronto's most affordable neighbourhoods include parts of Scarborough and East York.”

Other highlights elsewhere include Ottawa (walkability and public transit), Halifax (high inventory), Hamilton (affordability), and Nanaimo (affordability).

Calgary stood tall as an especially attractive destination, with RE/MAX stating that the city ranked high in nearly two-thirds of the liveability criteria polled. Edmonton was not far behind, being a favoured choice for access to employment opportunities, top rated/preferred schools, and bike lanes/walking paths.

“Despite reports of slowing economic conditions and a relatively flat real estate market in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton shine as beacons of liveability,” RE/MAX of Western Canada regional executive VP Elton Ash said. “This is a promising sign for any buyers considering a purchase in either city as they continue to develop as liveable cities in their own right.”