Here’s how much it costs to own versus rent in Ajax, Oshawa, Whitby and Pickering


Published July 8, 2024 at 4:50 pm

renting buying real estate ontario durham ajax pickering whitby oshawa

While the average house price in the Durham region is a little cheaper than the GTA average ($956,428 in Durham versus $1,162,167 in the GTA overall), housing is expensive and it appears that renters are still spending quite a bit less than homeowners. 

According to a recent report by real estate website and brokerage Zoocasa, the disparity between renters and owners is quite pronounced in a number of GTA cities and in municipalities such as Ajax, Oshawa, Whitby and Pickering, the high rental rates are still well below what a homeowner might be paying. 

“Most adults spend some time renting property before entering the real estate market. Understanding the financial difference between rental costs and mortgage payments is crucial to determining where to buy and rent in Toronto neighbourhoods and surrounding areas,” the report reads. 

In the report, Zoocasa said the cost difference between buying and renting in 35 Toronto neighbourhoods and surrounding GTA cities and regions was determined using the average home prices for May 2024 and rental prices for the year’s first quarter. Monthly mortgage payments were calculated using’s mortgage affordability calculator, assuming a 25-year amortization, a 20 per cent down payment, and a 5-year fixed rate of 4.64 per cent.

The report found that in Ajax, a homeowner might pay $5,346 to own and $2,688 to rent.

In Oshawa, homeowners might pay $4,697 while renters pay $2,300. In Whitby, a monthly mortgage payment might sit at $4,675, while a tenant might pay $2,850. 

In Pickering, a monthly mortgage payment could come to $4,527. A renter might pay much less–$2,537, to be exact–to live in the same city. 

According to the report, renting is significantly cheaper than buying in towns and cities with high housing costs, such as King, Oakville, Richmond Hill, Aurora and Stouffville. In King, for example, mortgage payments are 170 per cent higher than rental costs. 

The report says that some Durham municipalities are generally more affordable, with Whitby, Oshawa and Pickering costing homeowners less than $5,000 a month in mortgage payments.

At $2,300 a month, Oshawa actually remains one of the more affordable GTA cities for renters, just above Brampton ($1,921). But while Oshawa residents tend to pay less than residents of other cities, the disparity between renting and owning is stark, with mortgage payments 104 per cent higher than rental costs. 

The report says Oshawa sits on the cusp of affordability for tenants, as homes that cost less than $2,300 a month are considered affordable in the current market. 

However, while renting is more affordable, the report notes that renters miss out on building equity, which can benefit homeowners in the long term. 

“Within all regions, renting is still more affordable than average monthly mortgage payments by leaps and bounds. However, building equity in a home often becomes a person’s most significant financial asset, which can also help build retirement savings,” the report reads. 

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