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How Much You Need to Earn to Afford a House in Each Major Canadian City in 2024

A map of Canada illustrating the average income required to buy a house across Canada
Effie Theodosiuo @lzysunday

According to the CREA, the national average home price reached $698,530 in March 2024, a 2 per cent increase year over year. While home ownership in some markets still feels achievable despite rising costs, the skyrocketing rates in others has made the idea of owning a home completely out of reach.

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For anyone considering a home purchase in 2024, here’s a breakdown of how much you need to earn per year to afford a house in each major Canadian city.

(The minimum down payments listed below were calculated based on 5 per cent of the purchase price for homes $500,000 and under, 10 per cent for the portions between $500,001 and $999,999 and 20 per cent for homes at $1 million and over. Down payments were calculated based on 6.2 per cent of annual income.)

See also: The Best Places for Gen Z to Live in Canada

A fully detached home with sloped roof and grey exterior with steps leading to the front door
Listed by: CHARLES

Calgary, Alberta

One of the more affordable markets in Canada is Calgary, with an average home price of $580,400 in April 2024. To afford the down payment of $33,040, buyers would need a household income of $87,000 and it would take six years and one month to save. What can you get in that price range right now? A four-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home on a quiet street in the northeast part of the city.

According to Zoocasa, Calgary saw a remarkable 146% increase in home sales, rising from 6,391 in 2020 to 15,732 in 2024.

A semi-detached house with orange facade on the lower half and wood steps leading to the front door.
Listed by: RE/MAX ROYAL PROPERTIES REALTY

Greater Toronto, Ontario

Toronto had the second-highest average real estate price in April at $1,113,600. That means the minimum down payment would be $222,720 and with a median annual salary of $85,000, you’d have to save for 42 years and two months. For something at a lower price point of $899,000, you could opt for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom modern semi-detached home in Danforth Village.

Related: It’s Official: Toronto Is Now Less Affordable Than New York and Miami

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A duplex on a hill with green siding.
Listed by: CENTURY 21 ALL SEASONS REALTY

Saint John, New Brunswick

The most affordable city for potential homebuyers at the moment is Saint John, with an average real estate price of $288,300. For the $14,415 down payment required at the median income of $56,000, you’d only have to save for four years and two months. Right now, you could purchase a duplex in Saint John East with a four-bedroom upper unit and a two-bedroom lower unit.

An end of row townhome with light brown brick, black garage door, front door and window frames.
Listed by: RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.

Hamilton-Burlington, Ontario

If you venture about 45 minutes from Toronto to the Hamilton-Burlington area, the average home price is currently $850,500. For the $60,050 down payment at a median salary of $76,000, plan to save for 12 years and seven months. Within that price range is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom end-of-row townhome in Ancaster with a large backyard.

See also: What is a First Home Savings Account and How Does it Work?

A fully detached home with a protruding garage, red brick lower and white siding upper.
Listed by: RE/MAX FRONTLINE REALTY

Ottawa, Ontario

If you want to stay in Ontario, Ottawa is one of the most affordable real estate markets with an average home price of $636,700. With a median income of $63,000, you’re looking at nine years and nine months to save up for the $38,670 down payment. In that price range is a fully detached three-bedroom, three-bathroom house in Barrhaven with a finished basement and spacious yard.

A character townhouse with light green exterior and winding white stairs leading to the entrance.
Listed by: Re/Max Island Properties

Victoria, British Columbia

The third most expensive location on this list is Victoria, with an average real estate price of $861,000. A down payment of $61,100 would take 16 years and four months to save at the median household income of $60,000. For slightly below that price range, you’ll find something like this two-bedroom, two-bathroom character townhouse in Fairfield.

You might also like: When Will Mortgage Rates Drop in Canada? An Expert Weighs In

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A modern townhome exterior with large windows.
Listed by: Macdonald Realty

Greater Vancouver, BC

Vancouver had the highest average home price in April at $1,196,800 which calls for a minimum down payment of $239,360. At a median income of $80,000, you’ll be saving up for 48 years and three months. As for the type of home you could get at that price point? A two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in Mount Pleasant with an open-plan layout and 14-foot ceilings on the main floor, plus a patio.

A detached two-storey home with pale yellow siding and a snow-covered lawn.
Listed by: Royal LePage Next Level

Regina, Saskatchewan

The second most affordable place in April was Regina with an average home price of $313,100. For the required down payment of $15,655 at a median income of $75,000, it would take three years and four months to save. Your real estate options would include something like this three-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home with a sunroom in the Arnheim Place area of the city.

Related: A Complete Guide to Navigating Interest Rates in Canada for 2024

A detached house with pale sandy-pink brick and an earthy green garage door.
Listed by: Cloud Realty Inc.

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

Not too far from the Greater Toronto Area is Kitchener-Waterloo where the average real estate price is $740,900. This would require a down payment of $49,090 so at a median income of $81,000, it would take nine years and eight months to save. If you want something slightly above the average rate, this detached four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in the Columbia Forest neighbourhood of Waterloo could be a match.

A half duplex home with blue siding and white trim.
Listed by: Re/Max Real Estate

Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton continues to be an affordable market for first time homebuyers with an average price of $385,900 in April. In order to save for the $19,295 down payment at a median salary of $80,000, you’d have to save for three years and nine months. For those looking for a new home right now, you could purchase a three-bedroom, two-bathroom half duplex in the Cy Becker neighbourhood.

See also: Feng Shui Tips to Improve Every Room of Your Home

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A corner end unit townhouse with dark grey siding and white accents.
Listed by: RE/MAX Saskatoon

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Another market to consider is Saskatoon, with an average real estate price of $394,300. This would require a $19,715 down payment and at a median income of $75,000, it would take four years and two months to save. Within that range is a corner-end townhouse unit with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the Stonebridge area of the city.

A fully detached house with green siding and a white garage door.
Listed by: EXP Realty of Canada Inc.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

The average real estate price in Halifax is $529,600 which requires a down payment of $27,960. For those earning a median income of $69,500, it would take six years and six months to save. About 90 minutes outside the city in Kings County, you could purchase something like this newly constructed three-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home near the Bay of Fundy.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Tiny Home in Canada

The exterior of a boutique condo building in Montreal, Quebec.
Listed by: SEARCH REALTY CORP.

Montreal, Quebec

One of Canada’s more affordable housing markets is Montreal with an average home price of $531,300. This means that buyers would need a down payment of $28,130. At a median income of $65,500, it would take seven years to save up for the down payment. For something at a lower price point, consider something like this one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in a boutique building close to Downtown Montreal, Plateau Mont-Royal and Old Montreal.

A bungalow with light blue siding and large windows on either side of the front entrance.
Listed by: RE/MAX Infinity Realty Inc.

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

If you’re considering a move to Canada’s east coast, St. John’s boasts an average real estate price of $335,000. For a down payment of $16,750 at a median annual income of $72,500, you’ll have to save for three years and nine months. Within that price range, you could purchase a 2168 square foot, two-apartment bungalow in Kilbride where you can live in one unit and rent out the other.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg is another affordable market for first-time home buyers with an average home price of $353,600, which means you’d need a down payment of $17,680. At a median income of $71,500, saving for a down payment would take four years.

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You might also like: Where First-Time Homebuyers Can Find Opportunities in Canada Now



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