Buying a Metro Vancouver home only accessible for top income-earners: report

Only top 2.5 per cent of earners can afford a typical detached home, says Zoocasa study

Glacier Media Real Estate
April 25, 2019

Zoocasa income groups screenshot
Source: Zoocasa

Only the highest income-earners can afford to buy a home in Canada’s major cities, according to a study released April 25 by real estate website Zoocasa.

In Metro Vancouver, the affordability level was found to be – unsurprisingly – the worst in the country. Zoocasa reported that you need to be in at least the top 2.5 per cent of earners to be able to buy a detached home at the board’s benchmark price of $1,441,000. That’s an annual household income of $205,475 or more.

Even if you’re buying a Metro Vancouver condo, you need to be in at least the top quarter of the region’s income groups to be able to afford a typical unit at the $656,900 benchmark price, earning at least $93,527 a year.

The Greater Victoria region was found to be the third-worst for affordability in Canada, after Toronto. To afford a typical $741K detached house in the region would require a salary of $105,661 – in at least the top 10 per cent of local earners.

Those buying a condo in the capital region need to be in at least the top 25 per cent of earners to afford a $497,100 typical unit – a salary of $70,883.

The study calculated the minimum income required to qualify for a mortgage in 13 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) across Canada, assuming a 20 per cent down payment, 3.75 per cent mortgage rate, and 30-year amortization. 

The Prairie markets were found to offer the greatest affordability of the CMAs studied, with buyers of detached homes in Regina only needing to be in the top 75 per cent of local earners.

The study was released on the same day that Royal Bank of Canada's chief economist issued a report finding that young people are not declining in Canada's biggest cities, despite the housing affordability crisis.

Check out Zoocasa's full rankings of what you’d need to earn to buy a home in cities across Canada, in the infographics below.

Income group to buy house Canada Zoocasa
Source: Zoocasa


Zoocasa income group to buy condo Canada
Source: Zoocasa

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Media Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, Times Colonist, Prince George Citizen, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also writes and oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condos & Homes, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 23 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist talk radio show on Vancouver's Roundhouse Radio.
Copyright © Western Investor

Click here to take part in our readers survey


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile". welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Email to a Friend

Most Popular
Get the Newsletter