It's no secret that households all across Canada are struggling to afford a home right now, even those with a dual income. So when it comes to single-income households that are looking to buy, the options are even more limited -- but not non-existent.
A new report from Zoocasa took a look at what Canadian markets that households with a single income could likely qualify for a mortgage and buy a home in. Based on average and benchmark home prices provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association, and Statistics Canada's median income data of "persons living alone who earned employment income," the report lays out which markets, and which types of housing, are within these buyers' grasps.
As to be expected, every market in Ontario and British Columbia that was analyzed for the report had a median income below the required amount to purchase the average home. These provinces also saw largest gaps between the two numbers. In Vancouver, for example, the median income ($56,400) is $142,000 below the income required for the average home, priced at $1,223,780. In Toronto, that gap between required and median income is $134,875.
The more affordable markets were found in the prairie provinces and Atlantic Canada where some cities have multiple forms of housing -- condo apartments and townhouses -- priced with reach of the median income earner. Unfortunately for those with hopes of owning a detached home, none of the 20 markets analyzed were found to be affordable on a single income.
Assuming a 20% down payment with a 30-year mortgage with the current average interest rate of 5.14%, the Calgary median income of $59,600 will allow you to qualify for the typical condo prince of $289,600. The benchmark townhome ($395,700) and benchmark detached house ($597,200) are unfortunately too pricey.
In Edmonton, the median income of $59,600 will allow buyers to purchase either the benchmark condo, priced at $191,400, or the benchmark townhouse, priced at $256,400. The typical detached home is a bit too expensive at $459,400.
The median income in Manitoba's capital is $50,400, which will allow you to purchase a condo with the benchmark price of $231,200. Townhomes, priced at $320,900, and detached houses, priced at $377,800, cost too much.
In St. John's, the median earner with an income of $50,400 can purchase the typical $215,500 condo or a $276,700 townhouse. Detached homes are just out of reach with a benchmark price of $327,300.
Lethbridge, Alberta has a median income of $51,200, allowing those earners to buy either a condo, with a benchmark price of $160,608, or a townhouse, with a benchmark price of $230,877. Detached homes are significantly more expensive with a benchmark price of $388,000.
The median earner in Saskatoon makes $54,800 per year, qualifying them for a typical condo in the city, priced at $219,800. Detached homes ($419,600) and townhomes ($311,200) are out of reach.
In Saskatchewan's capital, the median earner bringing home an income of $58,000 doesn't make enough to buy a detached house, but can purchase the typical townhouse, priced at $266,700, or condo, priced at $204,800.
Despite having one of the lower median incomes at just $48,000, these earners still make enough to purchase a condo with the benchmark price of $221,500. Although detached homes in Saint John had the lowest benchmark price out of the 20 markets analyzed at just $299,400, the low income level means these buyers would not qualify.