Hamilton

Hamilton-Burlington incomes flat while housing prices shoot up

Incomes in Hamilton and Burlington have remained relatively stable over the past decade, while the price of a detached home in the region has risen 40 per cent.
New numbers from CMHC, StatsCan and Equifax help paint a picture of the health of local household finances at a time when housing prices and rents have risen dramatically in recent years. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Incomes in Hamilton and Burlington have remained relatively stable over the past decade, while the price of a detached home in the region has risen 40 per cent.

The median income across Hamilton's census area, which includes Burlington, was $77,800 in 2015, according to new data from Statistics Canada's Canadian Income Survey and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.

That number has remained relatively flat since 2006, when the median income was 2.4 per cent higher at $79,700 (adjusted for inflation).

The median income across Hamilton’s census area, which includes Burlington, was $77,800 in 2015, according to StatsCan. (StatsCan/CMHC)

In the same time period, the median price of a detached home sold in the region rose 40 per cent to $350,000 in 2015 up from $249,900 in 2006, according to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

The numbers help paint a picture of the health of local household finances at a time when housing prices and rents have risen dramatically in recent years.

For homeowners, the income was $94,200 in 2015. Renter households earned less than half of that: $44,400.

The income data were released Monday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and represent the median incomes, before tax, adjusted for inflation. That means in each category, half of the households earned more than the median, and half earned less.

The CMHC released other data recently from Equifax Canada, a consumer credit rating agency, in hopes of filling some of the gaps in knowledge about how indebted and leveraged homeowners in Canada are and "better understand factors influencing housing systems in Canada," the agency said.

The monthly mortgage payments for people who took out new mortgages in the last quarter of 2016 in Hamilton were an average of $1,406 a month, compared to an average of $1,826 a month in Toronto, according to the Equifax data. That's another sign of why Hamilton is attractive to Torontonians looking for a more affordable lifestyle.

The average monthly mortgage payments for people who took out new mortgages in the last quarter of 2016 in Hamilton were an average of $1,406 a month, compared to an average of $1,826 a month in Toronto. (Equifax/CMHC)

Less than two-tenths of 1 per cent of consumers in Hamilton were at least 90 days past due on their mortgages in the last quarter of 2016. The data shows the proportion declining since 2012 as the housing market's rise means a borrower in trouble is likely able to sell rather than lose the house to the bank. 

Less than two-tenths of 1 per cent of consumers in Hamilton were at least 90 days past due on their mortgages in the last quarter of 2016. (Equifax/CMHC)

The percentage of consumers who have a mortgage was higher in Hamilton than in Toronto. In Hamilton, 28.4 per cent of consumers have a mortgage. In Toronto, the proportion is smaller at 26.1 per cent. 

"Consumers" are defined as anyone in Canada with a credit profile reported to Equifax.

Across Ontario, nearly 28 per cent of consumers had a mortgage as of the end of 2016. New mortgages taken out in the province carried an average monthly payment of $1,486 – somewhere between the Hamilton and Toronto numbers.

The percentage of consumers who have a mortgage was higher in Hamilton than in Toronto. (Equifax/CMHC)

The whole Equifax data set covers about 85 per cent of the Canadian mortgage market.

kelly.bennett@cbc.ca

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