How much living space does a Canadian refer to as ideal? And, how does the average house size in Canada compare to other countries globally?

According to a 2017 report by Statista Research Department, the size of Canadian homes averaged at 1,792 square feet—a significant increase compared to the 1,050 square feet average back in 1975.

Canada comes third, after the US and Australia when it comes to average home size preferences. Residents here enjoy 13% to 26.6% more living space, as compared to countries in Europe.

Canada takes the second spot after the US, with an average of 618 square feet of elbow room when it comes to living space per person or household. This is typically 36% more living space than in the UK and 44% upwards of Brazilians. 

Generally, the most significant discrepancies between Canada’s actual and preferred living area size are seen in Vancouver and Toronto. These are the two most vibrant real estate markets in the country.

Average Home size in Canada

Today, we look at the average size of Canadian homes, compared to several other countries globally, including the US, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Australia, and France.  

These countries comprise diverse living conditions, ranging from small and big condos to extensive average single-family homes. Populations in these countries are spread from small, sparsely populated towns and communities to densely populated large cities. 

The comparison will help us better understand the possible differences in terms of preferences and the actual home sizes.

What’s the ideal home size in square feet?

A study done on the nine mentioned countries shows the following data: 

  • Mexico, UK, and Australia consider the ideal house size to be over 2,501 square feet
  • In the US, the preferred house size falls somewhere between 1501 and 2000 square feet
  • Brazil, Canada, Spain, Germany, France consider 1,001 to 1,500 square feet to be the ideal house size.

But what is the actual average home size in these countries?

  • Australia: 2,032
  • USA: 1,901
  • Canada: 1,792
  • UK: 1,590
  • France: 1,556
  • Germany: 1,477
  • Mexico: 1,416
  • Spain: 1,314
  • Brazil: 1,288

This shows that what most people in these countries consider as the ideal home size is not what they actually have.

Everyone Except Canadians, Want Bigger Houses

The average house size in Canada surpasses what most people there consider as an ideal size. For this reason, not many people in the country expressed the desire to own a bigger home.

For instance, Canada and the US have the least number of people desiring bigger houses (42% and 38% respectively). This is mainly because they already enjoy some of the largest homes in the world.

On the other hand, Brazil and Mexico have several residents desiring bigger houses (62% and 67% respectively).

Comparing the Average Living Areas per Person

As mentioned earlier, Canadians enjoy the second position globally, in terms of the most significant average living space per person or household. This is usually about 618 square feet per person. Americans, on the other hand, enjoy a 656 square feet living space per person.

While Americans have that much living space, studies show that they still desire a large elbow room. According to the data above, it’s relatively evident that people with less elbow room consider a larger home as the ideal size. 

For instance, taking a country like Mexico, whose average living space per person is around 354 square feet, the desire to have a bigger house is much stronger. This is also true for some European countries like the UK, which only has around 454 square feet per person or household.

  • Australia: 549
  • USA: 656
  • Canada: 618
  • UK: 454
  • France: 454
  • Germany: 492
  • Mexico: 354
  • Spain: 386
  • Brazil: 348

Actual Home Sizes and Preferences across Canada

This is how the actual and desired average house size in various Provinces in Canada compare. 

Firstly, in British Columbia, it’s estimated that the average house size is around 2,077 square feet. Of all the residents interviewed for this study, 23% said that their homes were over 2,500sq.ft. 

Also, residents in British Columbia had evenly distributed preferences in terms of the desired home size tiers. In fact, only 8% of them chose a tier of below 1,000sq.ft. The rest were evenly distributed in various tiers from 1,001-1,500, 1,501- 2,001, 2,001 – 2,500, and over 2,500sq.ft.. 

Statistics show that 29% of Vancouver residents live in houses of under 1,000 square feet. On the other hand, 32% of them consider the over 2,500 square feet tier to be the ideal house size.

Other regions include:

  • Kelowna – here around 30% of residents live in 1,001-1,500 square feet homes, with 32% of them desiring the over 2,500 square feet tier. 
  • Alberta – 38% of residents live in houses 1,001-1,500 square feet homes, with 27% desiring the 1,501 to 2,000 square feet tier. Homebuyers in Alberta tend to go for larger homes than in most other regions.
  • Ontario – here, 32% of residents have houses in the 1,001 to 1,500 tier, with around 21% desiring the 1,500 to 2,000 tier.
  • Toronto –33% of Toronto residents live in homes under 1,000 square feet in size, while 28% believe the 2,500 square feet tier is the ideal one. 
  • In Ottawa (a city in Ontario), around 30% of residents have actual houses measuring between 1,001 and 1,500 square feet. However, 29% of them consider the 1,501-2,000 sq. ft. to be the ideal size. Ottawa is relatively affordable compared to other Ontario metropolises, leading to the larger house’s preference.

Actual and Preferred Home Sizes in Various Canadian Cities

Let’s look at the average house size in Canada’s eight most popular cities

  • Vancouver: here, most people, around 29%, live in houses measuring less than 1,000 sq. ft. However, most of them (32%) prefer the over 2,500 sq. ft. tier.
  • Saskatoon: in this city, the most significant number of residents (46%) live in homes measuring between 1,001 and 1,500 sq. ft. And, 41% of them consider this the ideal house size to live in.
  • Toronto: while the actual size of most homes here (33%) falls in the under 1,000 sq. ft. tier, most people, around 28%, would prefer a house in the over 2,500 sq. ft. tier.
  • Kelowna: 30% of residents here live in homes with an actual size of 1,001 to 1,500 sq. ft. However, the most preferred size, by over 32% of residents, is over 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Hamilton: here, things are well balanced. The actual home size that most residents live in is the same size most will prefer.  For instance, 27% of residents live in houses under 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft. tier, and 27% also consider it the best size for a house.
  • Halifax: 28% of residents here live in houses under the 1,001 to 1,500 sq. ft. tier, while 30% desire to have a home in the over 2,500 tier. 

All this is a clear indication that Canadians love large living spaces. And, although the demand for bigger houses might have declined due to issues like increased immigration, Canada is still number three globally in average house size matters.