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Many Calgary homes still affordable for median-income earners: Report

Calgary has long been a national leader in home ownership, but is buying a home still a possibility for the average worker in today’s market?

One real estate website crunched the numbers, and on average, a couple making the median income can still buy a home in any quadrant of the city.

Penelopy Graham, managing editor with Zoocasa.com, said they crunched the numbers in July based on the city’s median incomes for one-person households and two-or-more person households.

“We wanted to demonstrate the varying bubbles of affordability across the city’s main districts,” said Graham.

They divided the city into seven districts, including the city centre, and used June data from the Calgary Real Estate Board to find the benchmark home prices in each district.

They then compared those numbers against the median income from Statistics Canada’s 2016 census profile.

They calculated the numbers on detached, semi-detached, row houses and apartments, and using a mortgage calculation website – were able to determine the annual income needed to buy each home in each district.

Graham said the calculations assumed a 20 per cent down payment.

“In general, if you are an individual making the median income, you have options right across the city.”

She said that’s absolutely not the case in Toronto or Vancouver, where Zoocasa did similar studies.

When it comes to owning a detached home, the eastern side of the city is the most affordable area, with an income of $54,091 needed to get a mortgage for that area’s benchmark price.

A single person earning the median income of $52,342 can find an affordable semi-detached house in five of the seven districts mapped.

Graham said their numbers show a dual-income household earning the median on $115,403 annually could afford a detached home in any of the seven sections, and a semi-detached anywhere except in the city centre.

She said she hopes the numbers will help people thinking of buying learn more about their options.

“The more you know about market conditions in your neighbourhood, the better off you’re going to be,” said Graham. “If you’re making the median income or above the median income and you want to know what options you have in the city– we think it’s helpful to know what you can expect to pay.”

Courtesy Zoocasa.com