Canadians earning average incomes may struggle to afford homes in the country’s urban centres, but new research from Zoocasa is highlighting real estate markets where homes are within reach.

Zoocasa researched home affordability in 17 major Canadian real estate markets and found that people earning the median income for their city could not afford a home at the average price tag in 10 of those markets.

However, the findings suggest buyers could find luck outside major cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.


Saint John, N.B., stood out as a city with the greatest home affordability, according to Zoocasa.

At $79,000, the median income was lower in the Atlantic Canadian city compared with the other listed markets, but the average price of a home in Saint John was listed as $291,000 – far below the maximum home price threshold of $365,165 for median income earners.

Regina also stood out in terms of affordability.

At just under $111,000, the Saskatchewan capital had the largest gap between the average price of a home and the affordable range for a median income earner. Those earners could pay up to $429,457 for a home in Regina, where the average home price was $318,700.

Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton Quebec City and the province of Prince Edward Island also had average home prices within the affordability range for a median income earner.


The average home was priced at more than $1 million in Vancouver and Toronto, meaning “it is likely no surprise” that people earning median incomes in those cities would find it hard to afford a home at the average price, Zoocasa said.

People in cities with the highest median incomes would also find it difficult to buy a home, the research showed.

Ottawa had the highest median income at $106,240, but “a home in the city at the current average price may still be out of reach,” the research noted, with the average home listed $160,000 higher than the maximum median earners could afford.

Victoria and Calgary, cities with the second and third highest median incomes, also showed average home prices that were too expensive for those earners.


Median household incomes were sourced from Statistics Canada.

The maximum affordability of median income households was calculated by finding the monthly earnings of the median income and then using the Scotiabank “What Can I Afford Calculator,” assuming an interest rate of 5.04 per cent and an amortization period of 25 years.

Average home prices were sources from the Canadian Real Estate Association.