How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a House in a Big Canadian City?

October 11, 2019
Bob and Doug McKenzie Canadian comedy
Photo: courtesy SCTV Archive

Vancouver is behind only Hong Kong for having the worst housing affordability in the world. Other major Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary are not faring much better on the affordability front.

Zoocasa,com, a Toronto-based real estate brokerage firm, released a report showing how ridiculously expensive housing there is by calculating how much down payment is needed for a median-income household to qualify for a mortgage. The calculations used “benchmark-priced homes estimated by Canadian real estate companies as an alternative to average or median prices.

In Greater Vancouver, the median-income household would need a 76% down on a $993,000 benchmark sales price It would take 52 years of savings for that household to accumulate the required $751,000 down payment. In Fraser Valley, a suburban and exurban area 90 miles from Vancouver, saving for a down payment there would take 42 years to accumulate the required $576,000. In British Columbia, it would take 30 years of savings to accumulate the required $422,000 down payment, and in Toronto, where the Ontario governments “Places to Grow” urban containment initiative sent house prices soaring faster than income growth, 32 years would be needed to save the required $502,000 down payment.

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