All the Single Buyers: How Hard Is It to Buy GTA Real Estate on One Income? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Valentine’s Day can be exasperating enough for the romantically uncoupled – but those looking to make a solo venture in the Greater Toronto Area real estate market have all the more reason to detest Cupid this February, as it’s extra tough to buy a home alone.

In fact, for someone earning the median single-person household income*, owning a home in even the most affordable GTA housing markets requires more than double the recommended shelter cost.

All By Myself

To find out where stag buyers can get the most bang for their buck, Zoocasa calculated the home-price-to-income ratio in 17 markets tracked by the Toronto Real Estate Board, using the average January 2018 condo price** and median income earned in each region. This basic affordability measure indicates how many years of total income it would take to pay for a property; the higher the ratio, the longer the timeline.

Financial experts commonly recommend that households should not expend more than three times their before-tax income on housing. However, according to the data, the reality is downright heartbreaking: the minimum ratio a single condo buyer can hope to achieve is 7, available in two markets (Milton and Clarington).

However, the recommended housing spend remains a tall order, even for two-or-more-income households; only three regions satisfy the ratio of 3, and 10 hover just above 4.

Related Read: These Toronto Neighbourhoods are Now Buyers’ Markets

 Independent Buyer

 Check out the infographic below to see which GTA condo markets offer the best affordability for single- and dual-income households.

Buying a condo single in Toronto and Mississauga

The Most and Least Affordable Markets for Single Condo Buyers

Best five regions for single condo buyers (condo price to one-person median income ratio is 7 or under):

  • Milton: 7 (average condo price $393,429, median one-person income: $54,184)
  • Clarington: 7 (average condo price $313,997, median one-person income: $46,277)
  • Ajax: 8 (average condo price $376250, median one-person income: $46,407
  • Brampton: 8 (average condo price $347677, median one-person income: $41,735
  • Whitby: 8 (average condo price $369075, median one-person income: $44,566)

Worst six regions for single condo buyers (condo price to one-person median income ratio is 11 or higher):

  • Toronto Central: 16 (average condo price $616,322, median one-person income: $38,018)
  • Markham: 12 (average condo price $495,439, median one-person income: $40,480)
  • Richmond Hill: 12 (average condo price $439,237, median one-person income: $37,862)
  • Vaughan: 11 (average condo price $443,914, median one-person income: $40,964)
  • Toronto West: 11 (average condo price $434,178, median one-person income: $38,018)
  • Oakville: 11 (average condo price $527,214, median one-person income: $48,604)

*Sources: The total median income of one-person and two-or-more-person households by GTA region were sourced from Statistics Canada. **Average January 2018 condo prices for GTA regions were sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa, and has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics. Her commentary on the housing market is frequently featured on both national and local media outlets including BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Toronto Star, National Post, and The Huffington Post. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods, travelling abroad, or in the dance studio.

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