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Affordability starkly different across Canada

May 6, 2019

Only the top 10 per cent of income earners can afford to buy a detached house in Toronto, where the benchmark price is $873,100. In Vancouver all but 2.5 per cent of the top earners can afford a house at the current benchmark of $1.44 million, according to new data from real estate broker Zoocasa.
Even a condo is not affordable for many in Canada’s two most expensive cities, the data suggests. Vancouver and Toronto condo buyers must still have an income within the top 25 per cent in order to swing the benchmark unit price of $656,900 and $522,300, respectively.
It is a different story on the Prairies, where affording a house is feasible for those within the top 75 per cent income group in Regina where the benchmark property costs $275,900. Saskatoon and Winnipeg are both nearly as affordable, as buyers with incomes in the top 50 per cent can afford houses priced at $301,900 and $326,433, respectively.
Calgary and Edmonton are also an option for buyers seeking affordability, with those within the top 50 per cent of income able to afford a house, and those within the top 75 per cent able to afford a condo.
The Zoocasa study calculated the minimum income required to qualify for a mortgage in 13 census metropolitan areas across Canada, assuming a 20 per cent down payment, 3.75 per cent mortgage rate, and 30-year amortization. The affordability findings were then cross referenced with income tax filings as reported by Statistics Canada to determine which income group buyers must align with in order to afford local real estate. Benchmark home prices were sourced from the Canadian Real Estate Association and local real estate boards.


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