‘Virtually impossible’ income required for Hamilton home on single income
For generations, home ownership in Hamilton required just one earner, regardless of how many people lived there. However, as housing prices continue to vastly outpace income growth and young adults are saddled with mounting debt, owning a home in a rapidly expanding city like Hamilton on a single income is virtually impossible.
According to the 2021 census, 15 per cent of Canadian residents over the age of 15 live alone — the highest rate on record. In fact, the share of people aged 35 to 44 who live alone has doubled from five to 10 per cent since 1981, indicating that millennials are twice as likely to live alone compared to their parents.
So, how virtually impossible is it to own a home in Hamilton on a single income?
The median individual income in Hamilton is just over $40,000, and the average home sold for more than $750,000 in Jan. 2023. Using the same calculation method used by the real estate website, Zoocasa — assuming a 20 per cent down payment and 5.14 per cent interest rate amortized over 30 years — a yearly income of $116,600 would be required to buy the average Hamilton home.
According to federal data, 14 per cent of income-earning Hamiltonians make between $100,000 and $150,000 per year.
Of course, Hamilton is not alone. Housing affordably is a concern Canada-wide. But according to Zoocasa, Hamilton-Burlington (the cities tend to get grouped together in real estate data) is the fourth-least affordable market in the country, behind only Vancouver, Toronto, and Victoria.
Perhaps the most eye-popping is Vancouver. Despite the city’s median income being nearly on par with Hamilton-Burlington, an average yearly salary of $173,250 is required for the average home in Vancouver, which will cost you more than $1 million.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s required income is $168,150.
Not many people feel they can uproot and move to a different city or province, but there are more affordable options for those who can.
According to Zoocasa, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, St John’s, and Saint John have average home prices lower than the average income. Regina, with an average income of $58,000 and an average home price of $311,500, is the most affordable.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising