House hunting can be tough in Ontario, but it doesn’t have to be. Some housing markets in Ontario are not nearly as competitive as others and buyers even have the upper hand.

A new report by Zoocasa has identified the most competitive and least competitive housing markets in Ontario based on each city’s sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) in October 2022.

According to Zoocasa, SNLR is used to “effectively show the level of demand and supply in each area, and help identify how much competition local buyers face with regard to supply.”

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An SNLR under 40% indicates a buyers’ market and right now, there is only one market with an SNLR under 40% in Ontario.

Niagara Falls has an SNLR of 29%, so if you’re looking to score a good deal on a home, this is where you should be looking.

Sadly, there are no other buyers’ markets in Ontario according to the Zoocasa report. However, there are many cities with SNLR values between 40% and 60%, indicating balanced markets.

Here are the least competitive housing markets right now and their SNLR, according to the report:

  • Hamilton: 40%
  • Caledon: 43%
  • Burlington: 44%
  • St Catharines: 47%
  • Kingston: 48%
  • Windsor-Essex: 48%
  • Ottawa: 48%
  • Vaughan: 48%
  • Milton: 50%

By contrast, here are the most competitive housing markets right now in Ontario:

  • Sault Ste. Marie: 80%
  • Thunder Bay: 77%
  • North Bay: 78%
  • Sudbury: 73%

Surprisingly, none of them are in the GTA. According to the report, that has to do with the supply outpacing the demand. The Toronto area had 4,961 home sales and 10,390 new listings in October.

“Housing competition has cooled across the entire GTA, and each market is currently in a balanced state,” says the Zoocasa report.

“With talks of another rate hike in December, it may be a while before the area begins favouring sellers again.”