It could take decades to save for a starter house in Oakville, Burlington, Milton

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Published February 14, 2024 at 10:52 am

Looking to save up to buy a home in Oakville, Burlington or Milton? Well, you better start soon.

And that goes double if you’re single.

A report from Point2Homes, an online real estate company, took a look at how long it would take the average couple or single person to save up for a down payment in markets across Canada.

And the news if you’re looking in Halton? Well, it’s not good.

“Buying a home is a hurdle race, and the down payment is the first — and possibly most discouraging — obstacle,” says the report. “That’s because, for many, 20 per cent is simply out of reach. For others, even five per cent seems Utopian. So, what about a 50 per cent down payment? Or even 80 per cent?”

The latter numbers are what, realistically speaking, homebuyers need to contemplate.

In order to get an affordable mortgage — meaning one that wouldn’t eat up more than 30% of their income — buyers would have to cover what the loan doesn’t, which could represent much more than the traditional 20 per cent everyone expects.

Oakville sits sixth in Canada on the list of biggest difference in time to save between singles and couples at an astounding 37 years and 10 months. This assumes a starter price home of $653,150, which is half the composite price in the municipality.

The news isn’t much better in Burlington or Milton.

In Burlington, it’s estimated couples can save for a down payment in about eight years. For individuals it’s nearly 35 years, a difference of about 27 years.

In Milton the gap is about 25 years, couples saving in about seven years and singles taking 32 years.

“Saving up for a home is a Catch-22 situation. No matter how motivated the buyers, they need a higher income to save faster. But, the cities where they can earn more also have the most expensive homes.

“Being in a relationship or pooling money with a friend doesn’t help either. Although a couple could save faster, they’d also need a bigger home than someone embarking on this arduous journey on their own.

“Nowhere was this more obvious than in some of Canada’s most expensive real estate markets. In these cities, home prices were somewhere in the stratosphere, but incomes were more down to earth than both singles and couples looking for property would like them to be.

“This means that buyers on an individual income — as well as home seekers starting from a double income — would need a formidable amount of time to save: Couples’ saving time would go up to nearly 30 years, while singles would be looking at timeframes up to 70 years.”

For the full report, visit here.

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