London Calling

London broker Ty Lacroix likes to promote a two-for-one deal to baby boomer clients from other cities - buy a condo in London and still have enough money for another vacation home in Florida.

That's because compared to nearby Toronto, London offers a comparable housing size and style for less than half the price. Lacroix, broker of record and owner of Envelope Real Estate, said a comparable house above $600,000 in Toronto would be as low as $225,000 in London.

Clients moving to London after being transferred from other major cities are often shocked at the value they can get for their price range. "I tell them I can buy you a mansion here for that price," Lacroix says.


Using May housing statistics, the average home in London-St. Thomas area was $236,067 according to the local real estate board. In Vancouver it was $812,326, in Toronto it was $473,337, and just an hour down the road in Kitchener-Waterloo it was still a much pricier $303,837.

"London is a good place to invest in real estate because it is still a reasonably priced housing market," says Kathy Mendham- Meathrel, a sales representative at Realty Executives Elite who also writes a blog on London's market. "This lower price means that more people can afford to make real estate part of their portfolio."

Located about halfway between Toronto and Detroit, London has a growing population of 352,000, according to the latest census. Homeownership is increasing in London, but still 38% of the population were renters in the latest census.

The city says it has spent $300 million over the past 15 years to help build projects like the John Labatt Centre and London Convention Centre in downtown.

Situated along the Quebec City - Windsor Corridor, it lies at the junction of Highway 401 and 402 and has an international airport. London's proximity to the U.S. made it an especially strong manufacturing location; however the rise of the Canadian dollar has significantly challenged that industry.

The unemployment rate rose to 8.7% according to July stats, from 8.2% a year earlier. That upward trend is the opposite of what's been seen in some other Ontario cities. Windsor dropped from 12.4% a year ago to 9.2% this year, and Kitchener- Waterloo-Cambridge dropped from 7.7% to 6.9% over that same period.

With a mixture of blue-collar and white-collar residents, however, a decline in a single industry will not be able to sink the London economy overall.


The local real estate market has been moving in a positive direction in London, prompting some media speculation that a more long-term rebound could be expected. Housing starts rose 15% year-over-year to 162 in June from 141 a year earlier.

To get find out why the London rental market is so strong, pick up a copy of our October issue, on newsstands until Oct. 12.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Just fill in a few details, and we'll arrange for a Mortgage adviser to help you find the best mortgage for your needs

  • How soon do you want a mortgage?
  • Name
  • Where do you live?
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address

Industry news

Submit a press release


Do you invest in commercial properties?