Single Awareness Day: Buying a Home with a Single Income

Single Awareness Day: Buying a Home with a Single Income

Written by Zoocasa
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated July 20, 2020

Although dual-income households can improve purchasing power and the ability to qualify for a mortgage, a significant number of home buyers are going through the process solo. But how affordable is it to buy a home on a single income in Canada?  

A study by Zoocasa looks at the most affordable cities for single home buyers across Canada in light of Single Awareness Day on February 15th. Results revealed a sizeable amount of Canadian housing markets ideal for Canadians living on a single income.

Data is collected and analyzed on a basis of average and benchmark home prices sourced from regional real estate boards. A 20% down payment and financing taken with a 3.29% interest rate amortized over 30 years is assumed, determining the minimum income required to qualify for a mortgage on the average home. Findings are then compared to the median income data collected by Statistics Canada on “persons living alone who earned employment income”.

For more information on home affordability for single incomes across Canada, see the infographic included.

Singles More Likely to Afford Homes in Atlantic Canada and Prairies

Single homebuyers located in Eastern Canada and the Prairie provinces will have a greater chance in finding an affordable home.

In particular, Regina ranks first out of 20 cities for affordability with a median single income of $58,828, leaving buyers with a comfortable surplus of $20,025 on the average priced home worth $284,424. Saint John follows closely, where single buyers have a median income of $42,888 and a surplus of $18,038, on an average priced home of $181,576. The housing market in Edmonton also proves to be more affordable, with a median single buyer income of $64,036 and the average home priced at $338,760, leaving a $17,826 surplus in income.

Other single-income friendly cities include MLS listings in Calgary, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, and Halifax.

Popular Markets in BC and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Most Unaffordable

As expected, the most expensive homes for single buyers are located in the provinces with some of Canada’s busiest cities. Homes on the Vancouver MLS are priced at a steep average of $1,019,600 and the single buyer in the area making a median of $50,721 falls almost two times their income short at $88,361. MLS listings in Toronto priced at an average of $748,328 are also out of budget, with the median income for single buyers at $55,221 falling short of $46,858. Victoria ranks third in unaffordability for singles buying homes in Canada, with an average home price of $633,386, making for a $39,359 difference compared to the median income of $86,400.   

Other markets out of affordable range include Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Montreal, and Ottawa.  

Gen Xers Hold Purchasing Power Over Millennials

Earnings by age groups per location was also looked at, comparing which demographic had the greatest affordability when it comes to purchasing a home solo. Results showed in every market, Gen Xers (35 – 44 and 45 – 54 age brackets) had the most purchasing power and earnings, with 11 affordable markets in their reach. This puts them a tick above the remaining age groups who have 10 affordable markets based on income. In each city, Boomers (55 – 64 years) fell in the middle for earning power, with Millennials (aged 25 – 34) placing last for affordability.

Here are the five most and least affordable housing markets for single home buyers:

Top 5 Most Affordable Housing Markets for Single Home Buyers

#1 Regina

  • Average home price: $284,44
  • Income required: $38,798
  • Actual median income: $58,823
  • Income surplus: $20,025

#2 Saint John

  • Average home price: $181,576
  • Income required: 24,769
  • Actual median income: $42,888
  • Income surplus: $18,038

#3 Edmonton

  • Average home price: $338,760
  • Income required: $46,210
  • Actual median income: $64,036
  • Income surplus: $17,826

#4 Saskatoon

  • Average home price: $290,736
  • Income required: $39,659
  • Actual median income: $55,758
  • Income surplus: $16,099

#5 St. John’s

  • Average home price: $295,211
  • Income required: $40,270
  • Actual median income: $51,964
  • Income surplus: $11,694

5 Least Affordable Housing Markets for Single Buyers

#1 Vancouver

  • Average home price: $1,019,600
  • Income required: $139,082
  • Actual median income: $50,721
  • Income gap: $88,361

#2 Toronto

  • Average home price: $748,328
  • Income required: $102,079
  • Actual median income: $55,221
  • Income gap: $46,858

#3 Victoria

  • Average home price: $633,386
  • Income required: $86,400
  • Actual median income: $47,041
  • Income gap: $39,359

#4 Abbotsford

  • Average home price: $590,900
  • Income required: $80,604
  • Actual median income: $46,714
  • Income gap: $33,890

#5 Hamilton-Burlington

  • Average home price: $550,058
  • Income required: $75,033
  • Actual median income: $51,253
  • Income gap: $23,778
buying single home income gap Zoocasa

Methodology

Income gap: The income gap is calculated as the difference between the median total income for persons living alone who earned employment income, and the income required to purchase the average home.

Home prices: January 2019 and December 2018 average and benchmark home prices were sourced from regional real estate boards. The most recently available price at the time of research was used.

Income required: The income required to afford the average home price was calculated using the Ratehub mortgage affordability calculator (www.ratehub.ca/mortgage-affordability-calculator) assuming a 20% down payment, a mortgage are of 3.29% and a 30-year amortization. Calculations do not factor in carrying costs such as property taxes and heating.

Median total income of persons living alone by region: The median total income of persons living alone who earned employment income by census metropolitan area or census agglomerations, by age group, was sourced from Statistics Canada, 2016 Census.

Written by Zoocasa. Canada’s top real estate website.


Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.

Zoocasa helps Canadians find the home of their dream faster. Consumers can search anywhere, anytime. Explore the homes for sale in a specific neighbourhood or even hire a real estate agent, all through the Zoocasa website or on their mobile app.

Click on the star to rate it!

How useful was this post?

Research & Compare

Canada's Loan Comparison Platform

Largest Lender Network In Canada

Save time and money with Loans Canada. Research and compare lenders before you apply. Share your experiences with Canada's top lenders.

Make Smarter Borrowing Decisions

Whether you have good credit or poor credit, building financial awareness is the best way to save. Find tips, guides and tools to make better financial decisions.

Save With Loans Canada

Special Offers

50 Free Trades Offer

50 Free Trades Offer
Ends August 31st, 2022

Almost $500 in commission-free trades. Code “50TRADESFREE”. Conditions apply.

View Offer
Borrow Today, Don’t Pay Till July

Borrow Today, Don’t Pay Till July
Limited Time

Borrow $500-$50,000 from Fairstone by May 31 and don’t pay until July.

View Offer
Build Credit With Refresh

Build Credit With Refresh
Popular

Build credit while spending money with the Refresh Financial VISA card.

View Offer
Build Credit For $7/Month

Build Credit For $7/Month
Popular

With KOHO’s prepaid card you can build a better credit score for just $7/month.

View Offer
Industry Spotlight

What's happening with Canada's credit industry?

addy ⎯ Making Real Estate Accessible To All Canadians

addy ⎯ Making Real Estate Accessible To All Canadians

Check out our interview with addy; a platform that allows Canadians to invest in different properties across Canada with as little as $1.

Read Post
Locator
Find The Best Rate
In Your Region
OR
Best Personal Loan Provider by Greedy Rates
Icon

Confidential & risk-free

All consultations and conversations with Loans Canada and its partners are confidential and risk-free. Speak with a trusted specialist today and see how we can help you achieve your financial goals faster. Loans Canada and its partners will never ask you for an upfront fee, deposit or insurance payments on a loan. Loans Canada is not a mortgage broker and does not arrange mortgage loans or any other type of financial service.

When you apply for a Loans Canada service, our website simply refers your request to qualified third party providers who can assist you with your search. Loans Canada may receive compensation from the offers shown on its website.

Only provide your information to trusted sources and be aware of online phishing scams and the risks associated with them, including identity theft and financial loss. Nothing on this website constitutes professional and/or financial advice.

Your data is protected and your connection is encrypted.

Loans Canada Services Are 100% Free. Disclaimer

Keep Track Of Your Credit Score

Subscribe with Credit Verify to monitor your credit rating and get your free credit score.