Because of Toronto's large population, and the subsequent demand for housing, securing living arrangements can be a bit of a challenge. While not as high as cities like New York, London, or Vancouver, rent and real estate in Toronto can be on the pricey side. It is, however, still considered to be a "buyer's/renter's market" in Toronto. The cost of housing has dropped a bit in the face of the current recession, but still sits much higher than you would pay in a smaller city. As of 2010, the average Torontonian spent about $19,000 per year on accommodations, or around $1600 per month.
Houses are in high demand in Toronto, with a dwindling supply available. For this reason, purchasing real estate within city boundaries can be very expensive. The lowest that one could expect to pay for a standard 2-story house in Toronto is around $400,000. The value of real estate in Toronto will increase, depending on factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, the downtown sector, and reliable transit. Many current house-buyers are choosing to buy houses on the further east part of the city, as far as the community of Scarborough.
Condos are, by far, the most popular real estate choice for Torontonians. To keep up with the demand, many new construction projects are underway for more condo buildings. There is a huge variety of condominiums available throughout the city, with a range in price from around $250,000 to over $1 million, depending on the size and location, and services provided. Most Torontonians choose to buy a condominium that is currently under construction, renting an apartment until their new home is ready. This is an effective way to save money on a new condominium, and secure a place before the building even breaks ground. As a result, most condominiums found in Toronto are very modern. There are, however, still a few quaint older condos that can be found in some of Toronto's more established neighborhoods.
While nothing beats owning your own home, Toronto does offer a myriad of pleasant apartments from which to choose. An expat choosing to rent a one bedroom apartment can expect to pay at least $800 to $1000 per month for their privacy, while the average 2 bedroom apartment in a popular neighborhood runs at about $1200 to $1500. A large percentage of Torontonians choose to rent multi-room apartments and live with roommates, sharing the cost of rent and living areas to save money. Most apartment buildings in Toronto are older buildings, but provide modern amenities, as well as most fixtures and major appliances. In addition to apartment buildings, a lot of home and small business owners have built individual apartments on their premises, to help pay off their mortgage fees.