10 Must-Know Facts About Ontario Housing Affordability

The most and least expensive markets, the only attainable city on an average household income, and more Ontario housing affordability facts.

By Josh Sherman | 3 minute read

Sep 22

We’ve pulled 10 facts about Ontario housing affordability from Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability: Ontario Edition.

Housing affordability is top of mind for Ontarians. With interest rates at a multi-decade high and long-run home prices far outpacing wages, many in the province wonder whether they’ll ever be able to afford a home and, if they are able to, where to find the most attainable properties.

To help potential homebuyers answer these questions and more, Wahi recently launched the Roadmap to Housing Affordability: Ontario Edition. The Roadmap to Housing Affordability is an interactive tool that identifies which parts of the province may be affordable for homebuyers, based on their household income and median home prices in 245 local housing markets. (Read more about the tool.) The tool is also a treasure trove of real estate data. Illustrating this point, here are 10 facts about Ontario housing affordability that we’ve pulled from the Roadmap to Housing Affordability:


1. Deep River is the most affordable local housing market anywhere in Ontario. 


You probably haven’t heard of Deep River. It’s a small town on the Ottawa River and about 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa. About 4,000 people live here. Notably, the median price of a Deep River home is $322,250, the lowest in the province. Your monthly mortgage payments on a home of that price would be $1,563, also the lowest anywhere in Ontario.  


2. No local housing market in Ontario — including Deep River — is affordable on an average salary. 


That’s right. It’s no secret that housing affordability challenges go beyond the big cities, but it may surprise you to find out that, according to Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability, even the tiniest town is out of reach for anyone earning the average Ontario salary of about $60,000.


3. Only one Ontario city is affordable on an average household income.   


It’s hard out there for dual-income households, too. Roughly a four-hour drive from Toronto, the city of North Bay has a median home price of $401,950, meaning a household income of $100,000 is required to qualify for a mortgage. The municipality, known as the Gateway of the North, is home to about 50,000 people, so while it has the official city designation, it’s a far cry from major urban centres like Hamilton, Ottawa, or Toronto.

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4. Just 18 other local housing markets are affordable on an average household income.  


After North Bay, the remaining markets that are attainable for average-earning households are generally small, rural areas.


Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability Rankings

5. The Township of King, in York region, is Ontario’s least affordable local housing market.  


Out of the hundreds of local markets Wahi analyzed, the township of King’s median home price of $1,785,888 put it head and shoulders above all others.


6. The Township of King is also the only local housing market where monthly mortgage payments are north of $8,000.  


For a median-priced home in King, homebuyers are on the hook for $8,854 per month.


7. A Cottage Country hotspot is Ontario’s second-least-affordable housing market.  


Looking at some of the luxury cottage listings in the Muskoka Lakes area, this actually checks out.


8. Parts of the London metro area are even less affordable than central Toronto.  


If you want to become a homeowner in Middlesex Centre — where the median price of a home is a jaw-dropping $885,000 — you’re going to need to be part of a household that earns $225,000 annually. That’s more than you’d need to purchase a median-price home in Old Toronto — which includes the downtown core — or North York, or Etobicoke.


9. One Ottawa neighbourhood is actually more affordable than Windsor (and nearly every other Ontario city).  


With a median home price of $499,950, Bells Corners was in the top 16.3% of all local housing markets for affordability, Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability found.


10. Rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto exceeds mortgage payments in more than a hundred local Ontario housing markets.  


In August, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto was $3,370, according to a report by rentals.ca. According to Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability, that’s more than you’d be putting towards monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced home in 118 local housing markets. These places include Niagara Falls — which is accessible from Toronto for daily commutes via the GO train — as well as Ottawa, Peterborough, Sudbury, and more.

Josh Sherman

Wahi Writer

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