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Cost of moving: Canada's booming housing market

Toronto has one of the hottest housing markets in Canada.

Toronto has one of the hottest housing markets in Canada.

Whenever you think about packing up and moving to a new country where the housing market is booming and people are flocking in droves, odds are Canada doesn't immediately come to mind. But America's neighbor to the north was recently named one of the world's hottest real estate markets by CNBC, alongside China, Malaysia and Israel.

Canada was fortunate and basically sidestepped the housing market and economic collapse that has essentially crippled the United States over the last few years. In fact, according to CNBC, housing prices across Canada have risen 28.7 percent over the last five years. Here at home, meanwhile, the Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller Index shows prices have dropped 34 percent over roughly the same period.

In some areas of the country, most notably Toronto, would-be homebuyers have all but run out of single-family homes to purchase, and have begun snapping up condominiums left and right. This has led to an unprecedented boom in construction in the area. Even real estate mogul and walking toupee Donald Trump has gotten into the game, opening a new high-rise building in the heart of the city.

So how much is it going to cost to move to one of the hottest real estate markets in the world? The short answer is, quite a lot. Nationwide, home prices average more than $370,000. In some areas of the country, that price is drastically higher. In Toronto, for example, the Royal LePage House Price Survey puts a standard two-story house at more than $646,000. Prices are even steeper in Vancouver. A two-story house in the popular Canadian city will cost roughly $1.18 million.

If you're lucky enough to afford a home north of the border, you had better save some room in your moving budget for the fees associated with moving to a new country. In Canada, as with most countries, there are some immigration requirements. When applying for residency or citizenship, you will be asked to pay certain application fees, including a non-refundable processing fee for you, your spouse, and any children you may be bringing with you to the country.

If you are approved for residency, you will be asked to pay a Right of Permanent Residency fee. On top of all this, Canada requires its new arrivals to undergo a medical test, police background check and, depending on your country of origin, a language test, all of which carry their own fees.