Average Ottawa household spent 16% of its income on mortgage payments in 2020: study

Ottawa houses
Ottawa houses

The average Ottawa household spent 16 per cent of its income on mortgage payments last year, up slightly from 10 years ago but still well below the “affordability threshold” of 30 per cent, according to a new study.

Housing cost 14 per cent of the average household’s income in the capital in 2010, according to the report from real estate search portal Point2. While home prices jumped nearly 60 per cent in that 10-year span, the study said, household incomes failed to keep pace, rising about 37 per cent.

Point2’s study comes amid a sudden surge in local real estate prices in recent years that is raising questions about housing affordability in Canada’s capital, particularly for lower-income residents.

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Earlier this week, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported that the average resale price of a residential-class home in the city was nearly $680,000 last month, up from $516,000 in January 2019. 

But Ottawa homeowners can’t complain too much, at least relative to their peers in other parts of the country, according to Point2.

Canada’s least-affordable housing market is the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, B.C., the study said. The average Burnaby household put nearly 45 per cent of its income into its mortgage in 2020. 

Meanwhile, the Toronto suburb of Oakville topped Ontario cities on the unaffordability scale, requiring the average household to spend almost 44 per cent of its annual earnings on housing.

At the other end of the spectrum, Halifax took the crown as Canada’s most-affordable city. On average, households in the Nova Scotia capital spent less than 11 per cent of their income on mortgages last year, according to the study.

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