Toronto is one of the least affordable cities for single home buyers

Feb 12 2020, 4:00 am

As Toronto real estate prices continue to skyrocket, wanting to buy a home in the market if you’re single is an ever-present challenge.

But single-person households have become the most common type in Canada and according to Statistics Canada the number of people living alone has doubled from 1.7 million in 1981 to four million in 2016.

This demographic is also more likely to own their own homes, with an ownership rate of 50% – up from 32% in the 1980s – with one in five living in a condo apartment.

Zoocasa, a Canadian brokerage, recently released a report using data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, looking at 15 regions across Canada analyzing people’s income after tax.

The results found that Toronto is one of the least affordable cities for single home buyers in the nation.

While it’s not in first place, Toronto came in second, behind Vancouver.

Victoria, BC, came in third place, followed by Hamilton-Burlington, and the Fraser Valley, BC.

downpayment average by cost


The average cost for an apartment in Toronto is $558,000 requiring a down payment of $30,800, which is almost the median income of $35,294. That means people would need to save for at least 10.5 months if the buyer contributed the entire amount of their savings for the downpayment.

In Vancouver, the average downpayment cost is $40,670, surpassing the medium income of single buyers at $33,804.

In Victoria, the downpayment cost is $26,080, meaning a single buyer earning $33,546 would need to save for just over 9 months.

These are relatively higher compared to Canada’s average downpayment, which is currently $24,045.

According to the report the best place for solo home buyers to look is the Prairies, where apartments can be bought for $200,000.

single home regional purchase


Edmonton takes the top spot as most affordable for single-income buyers, with units going for $183,800, requiring a down payment of $9,190. City residents also earn relatively higher after-tax incomes of $42,360. People would need to save for 2.6 months to have enough money to purchase a home.

But if single home buyers don’t wish to settle in the Prairies, other manageable property options are in Ottawa — now one of the nation’s fastest growing housing markets. An apartment can be purchased for $324,800 with the average single-income households bringing in $41,026. Prospective buyers would then have to save up for 4.8 months to have  the required $16,240.

While other options across the country are more viable, Toronto continues to be a destination for home buyers, but first one has to save up for at least a year.


Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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