Homes above $1 Million and below $600 Thousand. Which is harder to buy?

By: Lindsay Smith

Homes above $1 Million and below $600 Thousand. Which is harder to buy?


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I have always had a curious mind and love exploring why people do what they do when it comes to Real Estate. I also love to use my expertise and experience in Real Estate to determine where people drive our property market. Honestly, I have a good grounding of where we are, and some inkling of where we are heading in Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington so let’s look at a snapshot of activity from 2 years ago - February 2020. (pre-Covid)

I did some research on how the luxury market sold over the past week and explored what is now considered the lower price segment of the market, under $600,000. As I have done, week after week, my head is still shaking.

Let’s discuss the $1 Million + market in Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington.

First, to gain some context let's jump back to the same week 2 years ago. (Feb 1-8 2019) During this week we had only one property sell for over a million dollars. The sellers tried twice to sell in 2018 dropping their price $235,000, finally selling in 2019. Skip to last week – Oshawa had 42 properties sell for over $1 Million. Not only that, 36 sold for dramatically above asking. Currently, there are 78 properties in Oshawa for sale over $1 Million dollars.

Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. There are currently 66 properties for sale in Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington below $600,000.  In the past week, 6 properties have been sold for under $600,000. Skip back to the same week in 2019 and we saw 9 sales below this price.

This snapshot shows that it is more difficult to buy a home with a Million in your pocket than it is to buy in the $600,000 range. This is a fascinating structural change. Oshawa was built up around a factory, and over time many of the older homes fit more into the value range of a middle-class family. Whitby was a small town that had massive commuter development as the City of Toronto grew in size and Clarington was first a farming community and again, as the GTA widened saw new home developments appearing all-around a historic downtown.  

The average detached home in Oshawa is currently $832,000, Whitby $$1,060,852 and Clarington $938,086, which may shock some locals who reminisce about lower prices, however, many people are flocking here with our low price point compared to other GTA towns. One of the “almost here and we can’t wait” selling points of our area is the GO-Train coming to downtown Oshawa, Courtice Road and into Bowmanville. I was on a zoom town hall with Metrolinks and Lindsay Park, the local MP cheerleading the plan and I left feeling very excited.
The GO-Train stations being built will create a similar change that it caused when stations were built to the west and the north. Development follows transit, and this will drive (no pun intended) Buyers to our area looking for housing: Both rental and ownership. What I can see this doing is to drive the prices higher than we have ever seen them. I wondered out loud with a client last week about the average home in Oshawa being over $1,000,000. My client was shocked and we laughed about my “joke.” I truly feel that within a couple of years I will be penning articles about homes selling below $830,000 being as rare as homes selling south of $600,000.

When you look at how train stations affect housing values, a couple of examples will highlight how far Oshawa can climb to have some parity with other “train stop” locations.

Aurora: Average Detached Home $1,700,000.
Stouffville: $1,400,000
Richmond Hill: $1,740,000
Vaughn: $1,677,000

If you are a Buyer, looking for a home in Oshawa, Whitby, or Clarington, the $600-900,000 range seems to be the one where you have the most selection. I have shared in the past how my crystal ball is not overly accurate, however, I think that if you are planning on buying a home locally in the next few years, do it soon. At this point, most people cannot out-save the market increases in value.

If you have any questions on the above information, or If you can see a Real Estate emergency on the horizon, I can be reached at