Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Maple, Vaughan and Port Perry – what do all of these towns and cities have in common? According to a report by The Red Pin, they’re some of the best places to live in the GTA if you need to commute to downtown Toronto.
The real estate brokerage calculated the average home selling price per square foot for 24 communities outside the downtown core, balanced it against daily rush hour commute times into the heart of the city, and developed a ranking. A year of rush hour data was used to calculate average commute times.
“Based on our scoring system, we are looking at Ajax, Pickering and Whitby as being the best places,” explains Enzo Ceniti of The Red Pin. “They maintained pretty decent commute times into the city, but they benefit by having a lower cost per square foot – an average of under $400.”
Though Pickering and Whitby scored well, nearby Oshawa scored in the bottom five because of the added commute time on Highway 401.
“There’s a little bit of a crunch heading into the downtown core,” says Ceniti.
The price of real estate per square foot is also higher in Oshawa than in Pickering and Whitby, at $365.39 compared to $386.16 and $340.82, respectively.
In the west end, Oakville, Burlington and Keswick did not fare well on the rankings. Ceniti says that like Oshawa, these communities are lower on the ranking because of higher home prices.
In Oakville, the average home price is more than $1.9 million, or $885.51 per square foot, making it the most expensive community on the list. Despite one of the shortest commute times, at just over two hours a day, it’s near the bottom of the list.
Commute times can also be factored into the selling price of a home, says Ceniti. For example, plans to expand highway access in the east end may be a contributing factor in rising home prices, he says.
“There is pretty good value in the east end,” says Ceniti, “We are seeing a pretty large burst of [real estate] activity out there.”
For prospective homebuyers, Ceniti advises considering what their priorities are – a short commute or a larger home.
Top five communities for drivers into downtown Toronto:
- Maple, Vaughan
- Port Perry, Scugog
Bottom five communities for drivers into downtown Toronto:
- Keswick, Georgina
|Average house price||Average commuting time (per day)||Average price per sq. ft.||Average yearly commuting time per sq. ft.||Score||Rank|
|Port Perry, Scugog||$1,034,271.70||192.5||$409.61||19.82||8,117||5|
|Acton, Halton Hills||$1,028,257.98||205.0||$397.41||20.59||8,184||6|
Source: The RedPin