Housing affordability in Canada

Relocation, relocation, relocation: Canadians love their neighbourhoods, but will move to achieve housing affordability

  • For 64 per cent of Canadians, relocation is among the top sacrifice they’d be willing to make in order to achieve housing affordability; however, half (50 per cent) agree that the farthest they would go would be less than 100 kilometres
    • 56 per cent say that moving to a different neighbourhood/community would be one of the top three sacrifices they would make
    • 38 per cent would make the sacrifice of moving to a different city/province/region regardless of distance
  • 38 per cent of Canadians define housing affordability as a home they can afford that meets their basic needs, and includes some liveability elements, such as green spaces and restaurants
  • Based on average residential selling price, Brandon, MB ranked as the most affordable market in 2022, replacing Winnipeg which was most affordable in RE/MAX Canada’s 2021 ranking. This is followed by Regina, SK (which remained on the list year-over-year), St. John’s, NL, Moncton, NB and Red Deer, AB
  • Based on the share of income spent on mortgage payments, Red Deer, AB ranked as Canada’s most affordable housing market, with 25.86% of average monthly income spent on the average-priced home. This is followed by Regina, SK (26.94%) and Brandon, MB (27.72%) in Western Canada. Eastern Canada’s most affordable regions to buy a carry a mortgage include Thunder Bay, ON (29.78% of monthly income spent on mortgage), followed by St. John’s, NL (31.45%) and Moncton, NB (33.4%)

Toronto, ON and Kelowna, BC (July 20, 2022) — RE/MAX® Canada’s 2022 Housing Affordability Report reveals that 68 per cent of Canadians are willing to make at least one sacrifice to buy a home they can afford, according to a Leger survey commissioned by RE/MAX Canada. The most common concession is relocation, as identified by 64 per cent of survey respondents – a trend that continues to reign as a primary influence in local housing markets across the country, say RE/MAX brokers. This is followed by 56 per cent indicating they would be willing to sacrifice the type of home they purchased; purchasing a home under co-ownership with family and friends, as identified by 29 per cent of survey respondents; and renting a part of their home for additional income, at 27 per cent.

According to the same Leger survey, 43 per cent of Canadians said the high price of real estate in their area was a barrier to entry into the market. This is up one per cent from last year. Other hurdles include a higher cost of living (35 per cent); a shortfall in salary (24 per cent, down two per cent from 2021); market volatility (24 per cent); and rising interest rates (24 per cent, up six per cent from 2021).

“Despite affordability challenges across the cost-of-living spectrum, Canadians are still eager to engage in the housing market – even if it means making some sacrifices in the short-term to achieve affordable home ownership,” says Christopher Alexander, President, RE/MAX Canada.

RE/MAX Canada asked Canadians to define what “housing affordability” means to them – 38 per cent of survey respondents defined affordable housing as “a home they can afford and meets their basic needs, and includes some of the liveability elements they like such as proximity to school; or walkable neighbourhoods,” to name a few.

“While we wait for governments to implement a national housing strategy to boost Canada’s supply of affordable housing, in the short-term the market is starting to cool and balance itself out, bringing some much-needed relief from the sky-high prices that we experienced during much of the pandemic. This trend is largely being driven by higher interest rates,” says Alexander.

 Housing Affordability data table_2022_Western CanadaHousing Affordability data table_2022_Eastern Canada

Posted by Paul Ambler on


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