Here's where you can buy a home in Canada on a single income

Aug 2 2022, 7:08 pm

Despite a terrible trifecta of rising real estate prices, inflation, and interest rates, there are still several Canadian cities where single-income buyers can afford a home.

In a new report, Zoocasa has narrowed down the cities where solo buyers can qualify for a mortgage and purchase property – no partner, parents, or friend group required.

To determine the best markets for single-income buyers, the real estate agency compared average home prices and qualifying mortgage amounts with regional income levels.

Out of the 20 cities on Zoocasa’s list, Regina was deemed the most affordable. Someone earning the city’s median income of $58,000 would qualify for the purchase of an average-priced home, which runs $322,800.

Solo buyers in Saint John who earn the median income of $48,000 could also afford an average-priced ($294,900) home in the city.

With a median income of $50,400 and an average home price of $315,200, St. John’s offers options for single-income buyers, as does Lethbridge, where the median income is $51,200 and the average home runs $346,155.

Unsurprisingly, Ontario and British Columbia offer less attainable markets for solo buyers. Median income earners ($62,000) in Toronto would need an additional $134,875 to purchase the average home ($1,210,600). In Vancouver, they’d need an extra $142,613.

Zoocasa’s ranking are based on home prices from the Canadian Real Estate Association and regional real estate boards. The minimum income required to afford an average home was calculated using a 20% down payment, a 5.14% mortgage rate, and a 30-year amortization.

Median income was determined by recent census data from Statistics Canada regarding “persons living alone who earned employment income.”

In addition to finding the most affordable markets for single-income buyers, Zoocasa also delved into different housing types.

For solo house shoppers, condo apartments were the most affordable option in any city, while detached homes were entirely out of reach. Some regions offer affordable townhouses.

Once again, Regina provided attainable housing options for single-income buyers. The benchmark price of a condo – $204,800 – and the benchmark price of a townhouse – $266,700 – are both within reach.

Edmonton’s median income of $59,600 makes the benchmark price of a condo ($191,400) or the benchmark price of a townhouse ($256,400) affordable for solo buyers.

Benchmark condo and townhouse prices in Lethbridge and St. John’s are also affordable for the cities’ median income earners. In Saint John, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Calgary, though, only a condo is within reach.

With a benchmark price of $2,057,200 versus a median income of $56,400, the least affordable property type is a detached home in Vancouver.


Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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