Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know real estate in Canada is wacky. Then again, that rock might be worth a couple of million dollars in Toronto.
Buying a home, selling a property, or even renting apartments or condos in Canada is as complex, pricey, and volatile as ever. Many people are looking to real estate apps to help them navigate the transition.
Here are some contenders and our pick for the best one.
Why Use a Real Estate App
Buying or selling a home is a complex process with many steps, from the first message to closing costs — and it can also be competitive.
To give yourself an edge, you can use several apps with home prices that are constantly refreshing. You can even see open houses, connect with sellers, and send yourself notifications and alerts for homes in your desired price range and neighbourhoods.
Some apps even have extra features, like a mortgage calculator, advanced filters, or real estate agent listings.
Best Real Estate Apps in Canada
Try any of these free apps to view new listings in your area and launch your home buying or -selling adventure. All these apps are available on the iOS app store and the Google Play Store.
Zolo boasts over 10 million monthly users and bills itself as Canada’s most prominent independent real estate marketplace.
You can search and filter by city, address, MLS number, price, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and more. You can tailor your search to precisely the kind of property you want to buy.
Realtor.ca is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
You can find homes to buy, sell, and rent on the app. You can filter listings by city, specific areas like neighbourhoods, and even the postal code or MLS listing number.
Each listing shows the listing's price, address, description, and photos. You can contact the realtor directly from the listing to set up a showing.
You can also use the app to view real estate agents who can help guide you through the process.
Not to be confused with Zolo, Zillow is the leading U.S.-based real estate marketplace. It’s so popular that it’s almost become synonymous with house-hunting down south, especially during the pandemic, when we all had nothing to do but scroll.
Zillow came to Canada in 2019 and has enjoyed success up here as well.
You can buy, rent, or sell in major Canadian markets through Zillow. You can also research realtors and see reviews from other users.
And you can get in touch with the listing agent right from the app.
Zoocasa combines listings and a full-service brokerage to get Canadians’ homes sold in an all-in-one package.
You can see rentals and homes for sale on Zoocasa — including previous selling prices and market trend insight reports.
Zoocasa is based in Toronto but shows listings all across the country.
Fun fact: the app’s name comes from “Mi casa es su casa,” a Spanish phrase meaning, “My home is your home.”
PadMapper has an appealing and easy-to-use interface, with a map and sidebar that make navigation straightforward.
Over a million homes are listed on its app, which covers Canada and the United States.
It’s perfect for renters, as it shows lots of units for rent, including sublets.
Each listing shows the usual information — price, address, photos, and description.
One nice thing about PadMapper is you can contact the real estate agent or landlord directly through the site.
As the name suggests, there isn’t much here for anyone buying or selling a house. But tenants ought to take a look at Rentals.ca.
It features Canada-wide listings that you can filter by city, neighbourhood, address, price, number of bedrooms, and much more.
Each listing displays all the information you could want, including photos, price, and contact information for the listing agent.
Rentola makes it easy for both tenants and landlords to connect.
The platform offers a wide range of apartments, houses, and rooms for rent all across Canada. No matter what your budget is, you'll be able to find the perfect place for you. All you need to do is use the search box at the top, enter the area you want to live in, and tap 'Search'.
You'll then be presented with a selection of options you can read more about, view pictures, and use smart filtering options to narrow down your search and find your dream home.
More Helpful Apps For Homebuyers
Looking at housing prices is just one part of the puzzle. Try these other apps to give yourself a leg up on the competition and make your home-buying journey as smooth as possible.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have created some easy ways to identify what kind of homes are in your realistic price range. These aren’t apps, per se, but they can be used on desktop or mobile.
The Mortgage Calculator will let you see what your monthly payments could look like in various situations, including different down payments, amortization periods, and frequencies.
The Affordability Calculator will let you know how much you can afford to pay in mortgage payments or rent. Remember, the general guideline is to spend no more than 30% of your income on housing.
And the Debt Service Calculator will compare your housing and debt expenses to your income to let you know your gross debt service ratio (GDS) percentages and total debt service ratio (TDS).
Walk Score is an excellent app for finding out how walkable and bikeable a neighbourhood is — and how effective public transit is — with a score of 0–100.
The higher the score, the easier it is to accomplish daily tasks without a car for the commute.
You should always walk around a neighbourhood before buying property there — but this is a great way to fill in the knowledge gaps you can’t get without living there.
Houzz is a home design app with over 20 million interior design photos and ideas to make your house feel like a home.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Canada, it’s a good idea to use a combination of the above apps to ensure you’re not missing anything.
But the best app to start with is Realtor.ca. It’s owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association, not a U.S. firm, so you can be sure you’re getting the best data. It has a comprehensive view of homes to buy and rent, and its interface is pleasing and easy to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use Zillow in Canada?
Yes. The popular U.S.-based app expanded to Canada in 2019. It’s well-used here up north as well.
Will real estate prices drop in Canada?
There’s a decent chance. Home prices are already tumbling in areas that saw massive peaks earlier this year, like Toronto. And a new private-sector forecast predicts home prices in Canada could drop by as much as 25% by the end of 2023.
Where in Canada is real estate cheap?
Lots of places! But you’ll have to look outside the “big three” major markets of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, where prices will be nuts no matter what. And cities like Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa aren’t far behind.
If you’re willing to live in a less cosmopolitan place, there are deals aplenty to be had. For instance, the average home price in Saint John, New Brunswick, is $298,200. In Saguenay, Quebec, north of Quebec City, it’s just $213,000.