I have a question for Canadians…

I watch the Home & Garden channel on TV a lot and it seems that most of the shows I watch are filmed in Canada. When they give the prices for houses up there, they are so high I just cannot believe it. A normal family that looks to be in the middle income category (judging by their homes and lifestyles), are all having to pay up in the $700,000 to high $900,000 range – even over $1 million for a lot of them, and these homes are not great shakes of any kind. They are old. They are lined up on streets that have 2 inches between each home, they have tiny little back garden areas, if they have any at all, and they just seem like they all need a ton of work done to them.

I guess I could go online and look up normal house prices in Canada, but I thought that since some of my readers live in Canada, you might be able to tell me.

What’s with the high real estate costs up there?

I mean, there are places down in the lower 48 here that a family could pay anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000, and these are not such run-down looking homes as I am seeing in these shows.

Now those lowball priced homes might be located in more southern states, specifically Georgia which is where I’ve seen houses that low priced, but up here in cold New England, where we have generally higher priced homes, you could actually get a mansion of a home on a large lot of land here for $800,000 to $1 million, a nice sized home indeed.

So what’s the scoop? Are the incomes up in Canada much higher than down in the States? I guess that would explain it.

Just wondering….



ADDENDUM: I just found this on a message board about home prices in Canada and it does kind of explain a lot:

“Much of the absurd cost of houses these days have been brought about by the culture in the past 20 years or so of television shows dedicated to brainwashing people to think of houses as investments rather than as homes. You can’t turn the telly on without some estate agent advising people on what sort of decorations and improvements to carry out to jack up the value of their homes.

The house I’m living in at the moment is supposedly worth half a million quid. Thirty years ago it cost £30K – roughly three times my wages at the time. That’s an insane rise in price. It’s just a four bedroomed house, a double garage, and a quarter of an acre garden. Certainly not what any sane person would call half a mil’s worth of property.

But the estate agents and the TV lifestyle have got everybody drooling at the money they can make with a few improvements and a lick of paint and so upwards it spirals. Unless you’re planning selling up and living in a tent you’re not really making any real money – because you’re going to have to pay the same again when you move. The estate agents make a nice big fee though – which is why they’re so linked to all the BS lifestyle home improvements shows.

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He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world…

When all other friends desert, he remains.”

~ George V. Vest ~

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5 Responses to I have a question for Canadians…

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    Part of the price is that the prices escalated when the Canadian dollar was much lower than the US dollar, and then the prices never went down again when the currencies were on par.

    But, Bex, your pretty little cottage in my area would probably go for about between $280,000 and $380,000 – and we’re more than an hour out from Toronto.

    But in contrast, if you go to someplace like Newfoundland or PEI, you can find some very low-priced but nice homes.


  2. Rhubarb says:

    Houses as investments rather than as homes is part of what fueled the ridiculous real estate boom and bust here in California. Everyone was talking about turning over the property after 5 years and leverage. Many got stuck with mortgages they couldn’t afford, under water, when prices tanked.


  3. Reenie says:

    Bex! Thanks for posting this question. I can’t stream the HGTV shows I enjoy, but have watched them and have always had the same reaction as you. The houses are so pricey and run down and in iffy neighborhoods sometimes. These shows are a powerful influence. I swear that my sister bought in Panama because of HGTV. lol.


  4. Bex says:

    Thanks, Maggie! I wasn’t sure if it was just the limited samples of homes that are on these TV shows or if the housing costs in Canada are really prohibitive. I have heard the latter quite a lot, most from my friend, Mary, whose daughter and family live up there and have bought two homes there. I do understand that cities are much higher than countryside homes anyway.


  5. Hello Bex, Maggie here from Canada. Those really high prices are in the city of Toronto and surrounding area, and Vancouver and surrounding area. However, house prices are very high in Canada and most of the population in the cities ( which is most of the population) live in high rises or multi-family dwellings. I would love to live in Toronto, but could never afford to live there as we could never hope to own a home there and cannot afford the rents charged
    We have a LOT of foreign investment, from China and other places, in our real estate, it drives the prices to crazy levels.
    Have a look at the prices here and compare Toronto to Barrie, a city an hour north of Toronto, to get an idea at the prices.


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