According to an affordability study recently released by Point2 Homes, Toronto ranks as the 13th most unaffordable housing market in North America. In Canada, Toronto takes second spot.
Point2 Homes looked at the 50 most populous cities in North America to find out where each stands in terms of housing affordability. To measure affordability, they calculated the median multiple for each city, which represents the median house price-to-median income ratio. To put it simply, the higher this ratio, the more time it takes to pay off your home, and the less affordable the housing market.
In Canada, based on population size, eight cities made it into the top 50: Vancouver, Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Nationwide, Toronto’s 7.5 median multiple is surpassed only by Vancouver with a median multiple of 17.3. Although the cities have similar median incomes ($82,206 in Vancouver and $80,506 in Toronto), an insanely high median home sale price of $1,424,980 makes Vancouver’s affordability ratio much higher than that of Toronto. Compared to Vancouver, a regular Toronto home for sale costs less than half, $606,328.
And even though by Vancouver standards Toronto’s median multiple might not sound too bad, based on the ratings established by the International Affordability Survey, it is still considered severely unaffordable.
Overall, with median multiples above 4.1, five of the Canadian cities included in the study rank as seriously and severely unaffordable, and with median multiples between 3.1 and 4.0, the three other remaining housing markets are considered moderately unaffordable.
Third in the national ranking, Mississauga is similar to Toronto in terms of affordability. On a $87,066 median income, it would take 7.4 years to pay off a $642,753 home in this housing market.
Montreal ranks as the fourth most unaffordable with a median multiple of 4.2. The median home sale price ($335,465) in Québec’s largest city is just over half of that in Toronto. Because of this, it would take considerably less time to pay off a home in Montreal, even though the cities have similar median incomes.
Although Calgary boasts the highest median income of the eight Canadian cities included in the study, its median multiple is still considered seriously unaffordable. On a $107,371 salary, it would take you 4.1 years to pay off a $437,077 home.
Entering the moderately unaffordable category, Edmonton and Ottawa stand out because of their attractive home prices ($370,161 in Edmonton and $374,223 in Ottawa) and above average salaries ($104,748 in Edmonton and $107,010 in Ottawa). Both cities sport the same median multiple of 3.5.
In Winnipeg, Canada’s most affordable housing market, it would only take 3.4 years to pay off a $289,507 home on a $84,188 income. Despite the fact that Winnipeg has the lowest median multiple in the country, it still qualifies as moderately unaffordable.
Click on the tabs in the chart below for an overview of the Canadian ranking, or of the big picture across North America: