Calgary Is The Most Affordable Major Housing Market In North America

Canada is known for being home to cities with notoriously expensive housing markets, such as Toronto and Vancouver. However, it’s nice to see that for once, a Canadian city has topped a ranking for being the most affordable instead of the least. Calgary is officially the most affordable major housing market in all of North America!

Zoocasa, a real estate website, released a study on the “Best and Worst North American Cities for Housing Affordability” today on Thursday, March 28. For their report, the company examined how affordable houses in 35 cities were, relative to income. To our pleasant surprise, a Canadian city was actually ranked the most affordable major housing market in both the U.S. and Canada.

Calgary took the number one spot for the most affordable housing market on the rankings. It was the only Canadian city to make it onto the top five list. The Zoocasa report says that the median home price in Calgary is $400,000, which requires an income of $57,037 annually to be able to afford a home in the city.

Unlike other big cities in Canada like Toronto or Vancouver, the actual median income of Calgarians ($97,334) is higher than the required income need to buy a home, meaning residents enjoy an income surplus of $40,297.

Check out the map from Zoocasa below that shows the difference between actual and required incomes for houses in 35 major cities across North America!

Via Zoocasa

Unsurprisingly, Vancouver was not only ranked the most expensive housing market in Canada, but also the second most expensive in all of North America. “Vancouver real estate, Canada’s most expensive housing market, places second overall in terms of unaffordability with an income gap of $74,825 ($99,517 CAD), compared to a median income of $49,118 ($65,327 CAD),” reads the report.

Toronto took second place as the most unaffordable housing market in Canada and 11th overall in North America. The median price for a house in the city is around $646,279, which requires an annual income of $91,260 but the median income earned by Torontonians is actually $65,829.

Two other Canadian cities also made it onto the list – Montreal was ranked as having the 20th most expensive housing market whereas Ottawa was listed as the sixth most affordable housing market in the study.

Overall, the Zoocasa study also revealed that both Canada and the U.S. are having troubles keeping housing affordable in major cities. “American and Canadian home buyers may have their unique cultural nuances, but whether they live north or south of the border, they face similar issues when buying housing: incomes keeping pace with real estate prices in the hottest markets,” reads the report.

The study found that “Canada’s largest markets rank just as highly as the hottest ones in the U.S. – including those that have seen prices recover beyond their pre-recession peaks.”

Written by Nicole Hui