Calgary housing market among the most affordable in Canada, report says
'If you are the median income earner, there are options for you'
A new national housing report shows that average income earners are more likely to be able to afford a home in Calgary than in most other Canadian urban centres.
The report by at Zoocasa, a Toronto-based real estate brokerage firm, looked at whether people earning the median income in 15 markets would qualify for a mortgage for an average-priced home.
In eight of those cities, including Calgary, it was considered to be affordable. But in the other markets, a median income earner wouldn't qualify for a large enough mortgage to cover the cost of the home.
The report found that a household earning Calgary's median income of $99,583 would be able to save up the required $21,025 down payment within one year in order to get a mortgage for an average home in Calgary costing $420,500.
The report assumed a three per cent interest rate with a 25-year mortgage.
The least affordable market was Greater Vancouver, where an average home costs $993,300. A median income household earning $72,662 would qualify for a mortgage of just $241,994, leaving a shortfall of $751,306.
"That would take a household setting aside 20 per cent of their income annually a total of 52 years to save the required funds," Zoocasa said in a release.
B.C.'s Fraser Valley and the Greater Toronto Area rounded out the top three least affordable markets.
Calgary was 10th on the list. Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina were also listed as markets where median income earners could afford an average-priced home with a five-per cent down payment saved up within a year.
"We really wanted to highlight the disparity between the median incomes and the benchmark prices and also to get across the message that this isn't necessarily representative of every buyer, and if you are the median income earner, there are options for you in these markets," said Penelope Graham, the managing editor at Zoocasa.
Graham says some options include co-owning a home or choosing to live in a community outside the urban centre.