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

Toronto skyline
Pexels

There are many benefits to living in Toronto: access to great shops, restaurants, entertainment and sports teams. Pockets of beautiful green space. Diversity and plenty of community events. Affordability, though? Unfortunately, that continues to decline.

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According to a new report by Zoocasa, Toronto is now less affordable to live in than major US cities like New York and Miami. The real estate site analyzed the affordability in 40 cities across North America, comparing median home prices, median incomes and maximum affordability in each.

“While housing markets in both the US and Canada are affected by rising interest rates and low inventory, Canadian buyers are particularly affected, especially as they have smaller median incomes and less buying power,” reads the report.

The difference between maximum affordability and median home price in Toronto, as of April 2024, was -$362,627. That puts The Six higher than markets in Miami (-$342,413) and New York City (-$316,215).

Toronto wasn’t the least affordable city to live in in Canada, however. Read on for some more highlights from the comprehensive report.

Related: Canada’s Sunniest Cities (and How Much It Costs to Live There)

What Is the Least Affordable City in Canada?

According to Zoocasa, it’s way more expensive to live on the West Coast. It named Vancouver the least affordable city in Canada, with a difference of -$543,656 between the maximum affordability and median home price. VanCity wasn’t the least affordable city overall, however.

It’s also tough to live in San Diego, where the difference is -$545,702. As for the least affordable city in North America? That honour goes to San Francisco, with a difference of -$644,338. Still, it sounds like citizens there are still doing okay for themselves.

“Of all the cities we analyzed, San Francisco has the highest median income, meaning homebuyers have greater buying power. Median-income households in San Francisco can afford a home of around $612,162, by far the highest on our list and nearly double what median-income households can afford in Vancouver and Toronto,” the report notes.

Los Angeles (-$416,444) and Boston (-$385,464) rounded out the list of Top 5 least affordable cities. Toronto came in sixth place. Hamilton-Burlington, Ont. came in 10th (-$222,451), Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. came in 12th (-$200,033), Montreal placed 19th (-$135,255) and Ottawa came in 21st (-$105,223) — just two spots above Halifax-Dartmouth (-$102,490) in 23rd place.

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Related: When Will Mortgage Rates Drop in Canada? An Expert Weighs In

Map of affordability in Canada
Zoocasa

What Is the Most Affordable City in Canada?

The Zoocasa report only examined 12 Canadian destinations of the 40 North American cities it researched. However, there was a clear winner in the affordability space. A person looking to live in Saint John, NB, will experience a +$81,411 difference between maximum affordability and median home price.

Four other Canadian cities were also in the positive when it came to that affordability difference. Saskatoon, SK (+$57,820), Edmonton (+$56,888), Winnipeg (+$43,516) and Calgary (+$23,522) were also named affordable Canadian cities to live in.

Are you wondering what the most affordable American city to live in is? That would be Oklahoma City, which was rated +$37,748.

Related: What is the ‘Cash for Keys’ Rental Debate in Canada Right Now?

Chart of house affordabilty in North America
Zoocasa

How Does Affordability in Canada Compare to Affordability in the US?

The Zoocasa report points out that Toronto’s median income is comparable to Dallas. However, home prices are much more expensive in Toronto, which makes it less affordable to live in. The publication notes that this isn’t a TO-only trend, either. Kitchener-Waterloo also had a comparable median income to Dallas, but because of home prices it is less affordable.

That doesn’t mean Canada is more expensive as a country, however.

“It’s worth noting that of the eight cities where median-income earners can afford the current median home price, five of them are located in Canada: Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Saint John,” the report continues.

“Calgary has the highest median household income in Canada at $64,444, which gives homebuyers there enough buying power to afford the median home price of $340,741. Edmonton is an even more affordable example. With a median household income of $62,222, households can afford to buy a home costing around $351,703, which is more than $56,888 than the median home price.”

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