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Toronto Isn't Ontario's Least Affordable Housing Market: Zoocasa Report

There are still bargains to be had in Ontario housing, but few are near Greater Toronto.
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It may regularly make headlines for its high real estate prices, but a new study on Ontario's housing markets shows Toronto isn't the province's least affordable city.

A new report from Zoocasa looked at 28 housing markets in Ontario and compared median household incomes to the average housing prices as of August 2018, and assumed a 20-per-cent down payment is made at a mortgage rate of 3.14 per cent with a 30-year amortization. The larger the gap between how much money a household would need to buy a home and the amount a household actually earns, the less affordable that market is.

The dubious honour of Ontario's least affordable housing market went to Richmond Hill, a suburb in York Region just north of the city, where you'd need an income of $136,315 to purchase a home at the average price of $999,311.

The actual median income of Richmond Hill is $88,353, leaving a gap of $47,962.

In Toronto, the median income is much lower at $65,829, but so is the average housing price of $785,223. That leaves a gap of $41,282.

The report notes Richmond Hill has a greater proportion of more expensive types of housing, whereas Toronto has more less-expensive options, like condos.

When it comes to the province's most affordable markets, the report shows house-hunters need to think outside the Greater Toronto Area.

The most affordable market in Ontario is Thunder Bay, which has an average home price of just $227,750. The median income is slightly higher than Toronto, at $66,163, but an income of just $31,067 is needed to buy the average home, leaving a surplus of $35,096.

Below are Zoocasa's breakdowns for Ontario's most and least affordable housing markets.

Most affordable housing markets

5. Waterloo

Average Home Price: $493,358

Required Income: $67,298

Median Income: $83,045

Surplus: $15,747

4. Whitby

Average Home Price: $632,395

Required Income: $86,264

Median Income: $103,809

Surplus: $17,545

3. Ottawa

Average Home Price: $433,684

Required Income: $59,158

Median Income: $85,981

Surplus: $26,823

2. Sudbury

Average Home Price: $272,523

Required Income: $37,174

Median Income: $68,736

Surplus: $26,901

1. Thunder Bay

Average Home Price: $227,750

Required Income: $31,067

Median Income: $66,163

Surplus: $35,096

Least affordable housing markets

5. Oakville

Average Home Price: $1,030,482

Required Income: $140,567

Median Income: $113,666

Income Gap: $26,901

4. Markham

Average Home Price: $875,182

Required Income: $119,382

Median Income: $89,028

Income Gap: $30,354

3. Vaughan

Average Home Price: $997,587

Required Income: $136,079

Median Income: $105,351

Income Gap: $30,728

2. Toronto

Average Home Price: $785,223

Required Income: $107,111

Median Income: $65,829

Income Gap: $41,282

1. Richmond Hill

Average Home Price: $999,311

Required Income: $136,315

Median Income: $88,353

Income Gap: $47,962

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