Port Colborne Is the Most Affordable Area in Niagara Region

Port Colborne is among Ontario’s most affordable local housing markets, though some other parts of Niagara are much more expensive, new research from digital real estate platform Wahi suggests.

By Josh Sherman | 3 minute read

Sep 29

Housing affordability in the St. Catharines-Niagara census metropolitan area’s 10 local markets varies widely.

The Niagara region simultaneously has both some of the province’s most — and least — affordable local housing markets, according to the recently released Ontario edition of Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability.

The Roadmap to Housing Affordability is an interactive tool that shows potential homebuyers where they can potentially afford to live, depending on their earnings and local home prices in 245 local real estate markets, including about 50 cities around the province as well as many towns and villages.

Based on Wahi’s calculations, Port Colborne, which has a median home price of $499,000, is the most affordable market out of the 10 that comprise the Niagara region. The city ranks 39th overall in Ontario for affordability.

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To afford a home in Port Colborne, households require a pre-tax income of $125,000, which is roughly 22% higher than the Ontario average. Meanwhile, with a median price of $1,030,000, Niagara-on-the-Lake was the region’s most expensive market and ranked 225th overall. Niagara-on-the-Lake requires a household income of $250,000, double what’s needed to purchase property in Port Colborne. That’s also $50,000 more than you’d need to afford a home in traditionally expensive markets such as Old Toronto, an area that includes the city’s downtown core and has a median price of $785,000, and North York, the former Toronto borough that includes the affluent Bridle Path neighbourhood — home to some of North America’s rich and famous — and boasts a median price of $840,000.  

In between Port Colborne and Niagara-on-the-Lake there are eight local housing markets with median home prices that range from $580,000 up to 889,000.

How Wahi Calculates Affordability 

To use Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability, homebuyers first enter their household income. The tool then populates a map that highlights local markets where the median home price is affordable, based on a few assumptions. Wahi assumes a 20% downpayment, a mortgage rate of 5.24% (provided by Rocket Mortgage as of July 14), and a 25-year amortization period. To meet the affordability threshold, households shouldn’t be spending more than 25% of their pre-tax income on monthly mortgage payments.


Home price data is from the first quarter of this year. Median home prices include all housing types. Places where there were fewer than 50 transactions in the first three months of the year were excluded from calculations. (Note that calculations also don’t take into account savings, help from relatives, or other factors that may help a household purchase a home.)

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Niagara Has One of Ontario’s Most Affordable Cities  

Interestingly, Port Colborne was the fourth most affordable city in Ontario, placing it behind Greater Sudbury, Owen Sound, and North Bay. Just seven cities (and 56 local markets in total) are affordable for households earning $125,000 per year. “The fact that only a handful of cities — mostly small — are affordable to households with even above-average earnings truly highlights Ontario’s affordability crisis,” says Wahi CEO Benjy Katchen. “However, the new Roadmap to Housing Affordability also puts the spotlight on local housing markets that homebuyers might not have thought about considering before,” he adds.

Just because the median home price is unattainable at a given income level, it doesn’t mean homebuyers should give up searching. Once you’ve determined your maximum budget by using the Roadmap to Housing Affordability, you can then scan Wahi listings to view properties at lower price points.

Other Roadmap to Affordability: Ontario Edition Highlights:

  • King, in York, is Ontario’s least affordable housing market with a median home price of $1,785,888 and required household income of $425,000
  • Deep River, a five-hour drive from Toronto, is the most affordable Ontario market with a median home price of $322,250 and required income of $75,000

Curious to see which parts of the province are within your homebuying budget? Check out Wahi’s Roadmap to Housing Affordability: Ontario Edition.

Josh Sherman

Wahi Writer

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