Calgary ranked one of North America's most affordable cities for housing

Mar 29 2019, 5:38 am

Calgarians are looking good when it comes to real estate.

When looking at housing affordability across the country, it’s clear that costs are much steeper for Canadians living on the west coast or in the Great Lakes region than on the Prairies.

But how does housing affordability pan out across North America?

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A recent study by Zoocasa examined home affordability relative to incomes and found that Canada’s largest markets rank just as high as the hottest ones in the US — including those that have seen prices recover beyond their pre-recession peaks.

Based on December 2018 home prices, a 20% down payment, and a 30-year mortgage at a fixed rate of 3.75% for Canadians, Zoocasa ranked 35 North American cities from least to most affordable based on the difference between actual median household incomes and the income required to buy the median-priced home.

Housing affordability in YYC

Real estate in Calgary ranked at the top for affordability, due in part to the high median income of Calgary households.

A Calgary household earning the median income of $97,334 (USD $73,183) would see a surplus of $40,297 (USD $30,298) if they purchased a house for the average cost. Compare that to Toronto, where the median household income of $65,829 (USD $49,495) faces a gap of $25,431 (USD $19,121) if they are purchasing a median-priced home within the city.

Out of all 35 North American markets included in the study, 18 are considered to face a similar income gap, according to Zoocasa.


Zoocasa (All prices are in US dollars)

When it comes to affordability, only three of the Canadian cities studied are considered affordable, compared to 14 American cities.

Montreal ranks 20th on the list and has an income surplus of USD $4,161, in line with Las Vegas and Philadelphia, which have income surpluses of USD $3,215 and USD $6,869, respectively.

Ottawa, was the sixth most affordable city in the study, with an income surplus of $27,714 (USD $16,326 ), based on the median income of $85,981 (USD $64,647).

Thing’s could be much worse

According to Zoocasa, the least affordable market was San Francisco, where a household earning the median of USD $96,62 finds themselves USD $140,003 short on the median-priced home valued at USD $1,360,000.

Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive housing market, falling in second place on the list, with an income gap of $99,517 (USD $74,825) compared to the median income of $65,327 (USD $49,118).

Here’s how Canadian and US markets rank according to housing affordability:


Zoocasa (All prices are in US dollars)

– With files from Ainsley Smith

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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