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Where can median-income households afford to buy a house?

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Buying a home in the current market might seem daunting for many prospective buyers. 

With home prices declining since early last year, many realtors are reporting working with clients who’ve been waiting on the sidelines to see how things shake out. 

In February, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported that the average national average home price was $662,437 in February 2023, down 18.9 per cent from the all-time record in February 2022 but up more than $50,000 from its January level.

CREA credits the month-over-month jump to outsized sales increases in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. 

The national association regularly notes that excluding these two markets from the calculation cuts a significant amount from the national average price; $135,000 in February 2023, to be exact.


12 of the 20 markets analyzed are considered affordable


Zoocasa analyzed average home prices across 20 different cities and compared the median income in each to the required income to afford the average home. 

Of the 20 markets analyzed, buyers with a median household income could afford to buy in just over half of them.

Ontario is the most expensive province to buy in, but there are still a few options for those earning in and around the median income. 

Ottawa’s average home price of $613,000 requires an income of $94,763, whereas the median income in the city is $121,790. 

London-St. Thomas is also comparatively affordable, with a median income of $94,070 above the required income of $90,225 to buy a home at the average price of $583,500. 

However, Toronto and Vancouver remain the most expensive markets, with average home prices of $1,091,300 and $1,123,400, respectively. The two cities have median incomes of $96,700 and $98,640 and require an income of $168,712 and $173,663, respectively.

Prairies and the East Cost offer relative affordability 


Unsurprisingly, the Prairies and the East Coast are the most affordable locations. The median income in Regina is $106,340, well above the required income of $47,963 to buy a house at the average price of $310,200. 

Saskatoon also sees greater affordability, where the average home price of $372,400 requires an income of $57,563 to buy, with a median income of around $102,830. 

On the East Coast, Saint John’s average home price of $268,400 requires an income of $41,513, with the median income more than double that at $89,750. 

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the median income of $85,800 can comfortably afford the average home price of $276,700, where an income of only $42,788 is required.

It’s important to note that these figures are based on average home prices and median incomes. Affordability can vary depending on the type of home you’re looking to buy, your down payment, and other factors. However, this analysis provides a useful starting point for those looking to enter the Canadian real estate market.


Source: Zoocasa

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