Over 92% of Housing Markets in Ontario Deemed Unaffordable, Highlighting One of the Worst

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Waterloo Region, comprising Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo, along with their many neighbourhoods, is making headlines as one of Ontario’s most expensive housing markets. A recent report by Wahi* sheds light on the escalating costs of homes in the area, leaving both prospective homeowners and experts concerned about affordability.

The Standout Locations

Topping the list of pricey neighbourhoods in the Waterloo Region is the Kitchener suburb of Doon. The median price for a home in this area is a staggering $1.025 million, making it the 22nd most expensive city in the province. To even consider living here, households need to have an annual income of at least $250,000 before taxes. This equates to a monthly mortgage payment of approximately $5,200, underscoring the financial challenges that homebuyers face in this region.

On the other end of the spectrum, Central Kitchener is home to most of the city’s neighbourhoods and represents the Waterloo Region’s most affordable housing market. Here, the median home price is still a hefty $701,000, necessitating a total household income of $175,000 to comfortably afford a home in this area.

A Broader Ontario Issue

The housing affordability crisis extends well beyond the borders of the Waterloo Region. In fact, the region is far from being the only unaffordable locale in Ontario. A mere 19 out of Ontario’s 245 local real estate markets are considered affordable for households with average incomes, typically around $100,000. This worrying statistic highlights the overarching issue of affordability plaguing the province.

A Ray of Hope for Homebuyers

Despite these daunting figures, Wahi offers a glimmer of hope for prospective homebuyers. They advise against giving up on the dream of homeownership solely based on an area’s median home price, which can often seem unattainable. It’s essential to understand that the median home price represents the middle point of all transactions, but this doesn’t mean all homes are out of reach.

For instance, in the Doon neighbourhood, where the median price is over a million dollars, half of the homes sold actually went for less than $1.025 million. This indicates that there are still opportunities for those with a slightly lower budget. Wahi’s CEO, Benjy Katchen, emphasizes this point, stating, “The fact that only a handful of cities, mostly small ones, are affordable to households with even above-average earnings truly highlights Ontario’s affordability crisis. However, the new Roadmap to Housing Affordability also puts the spotlight on local housing markets that homebuyers might not have thought about considering before.”

As housing prices continue to rise in Waterloo Region and across Ontario, it’s evident that prospective homebuyers will need to explore creative solutions to achieve their homeownership dreams. Whether it’s through innovative financing, considering neighbouring regions, or staying patient in a competitive market, the pursuit of affordable housing remains a challenging endeavour for many.

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