by John King, Broker with Engel & Völkers Ottawa –
“How will the next generation ever be able to afford a house?”
This is the question I hear over and over at social events. Many of my friends lament that the price of housing today has risen to a point where owning a home is out of reach for the next generation. But when you look at the statistics, housing in Ottawa still remains quite affordable for young families just starting out.
In National Bank’s recent Home Affordability Report, which tracks how much income a family needs to be able to qualify for a mortgage on an average detached home, Ottawa comes out looking stellar. While it’s true that owning a detached home is likely out of reach in Canada’s overpriced markets of Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria—where it takes an income of more than $150,000—families in Ottawa need a much more attainable income of $76,000 to qualify for a mortgage to buy an average detached home in the Ottawa market.
In fact, Ottawa remains one of the most affordable markets in Canada, cheaper than even Calgary and Edmonton where the oil-driven recession is taking a toll on home prices.
What these statistics mean is that Ottawa home sales will likely remain very strong for many years, as there will continue to be many new home buyers entering the Ottawa market. This will keep the Ottawa resale market very strong, as there continues to be lots of qualified new buyers looking to get their first home.