Home ownership is a life-long dream for most Canadians. A new report from Zoocasa says it would take a median-income household 32 years to save for a down payment on an average Toronto home.

The study looks at 15 markets across the country, listing the five most affordable housing markets as Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.

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Toronto was ranked the third most expensive behind Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The average Toronto income before tax is listed at $78,373. Meanwhile an average Toronto house costs, by the latest estimates, $802,400 – and that’s guaranteed to increase this year.

Personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq told Vice that people need to shift away from what she calls “the cult of home ownership”: “So many young Canadians dream of owning a home but they’ll never be able to afford real estate because they’ll be in their 50s and 60s by the time they get the down payment. We need to make peace with that, the way I would feel if I moved to New York. I wouldn’t expect to ever be able to buy property there because it’s out of my reach.”

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Given the average income, most Canadians simply wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage of that size. Torontonians, in particular, are turning elsewhere in order to find alternate lenders. Earlier this summer, CBC News reported that non-bank lenders are “taking a bite” out of Canada’s mortgage market.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported there were between 200 to 300 active alternative lenders in Canada last year that held $13 billion to $14 billion of outstanding Canadian mortgages. It’s a startling figure that jumped $11 billion higher from the same time a year earlier, in 2017. CMHC’s specialist in housing research, Tania Bourassa-Ochoa, told CBC News that the data shows “their share in this space is growing.”

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Yet a household making $78,373 a year would only be able to qualify for a bank loan for a house worth $300,174. That’s even less than the price of a run-down Toronto garage!

If a household making this amount were to save for a down payment of $502,226 (approximately 63 per cent of the sales price) – in order to cover the purchase prices – it would take 32 years.

Translation: your retirement would probably coincide with the date you’d qualify.