Market Updates / Purchase / Qualifying

What’s happening with Canadian housing?

Edmonton Mortgage Broker

Statistics Canada has released the results from their most recent National Housing Survey and I want to comment on what I see as being highlights of the publication. I’ve included a few national and local stats for varieties sake and while it’s interesting to compare yourself to everyone else, don’t forget to get a personalized consultation to assess your specific financial needs if you are soon thinking of making some changes in your housing.

7 out of 10 Canadian households were owned.

Obviously every property has to be owned, however, in this case, if there were a block of 10 homes, 7 homes would be owner occupied, while the other 3 would be tenant occupied.  This figure is the national average.

23.8% of households where the primary household maintainer was under 25 owned the home

This national average shows that young people have the opportunity and resources to own their own homes. The percentage of owned homes goes up with the age of the borrowers and the most recent survey showed 25-29 year olds owning 44% of their households while 59% of the 30-34 year olds own their own homes.

58.6% of households owned had a mortgage

If you have a mortgage, you have a lot of company. This national statistic supports the theory that the majority of Canadians require a mortgage to own a home.

Out of all households surveyed, 12% live in condos

Out of all the households surveyed in Canada, including owned and rented properties; just over 1 in 10 were condominiums. The main contributors to the condo market were the major centers like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

25% of Canadian households with mortgages are spending over 30% of their total income on shelter

“They” say 30% of your gross income is the magic number that should go towards shelter costs in order to avoid default. The fact that 1 in 4 households are contributing over the suggested limit to these expenses may indicate some Canadians are taking on too much debt. This is no surprise as the increasing debt levels, both consumer and mortgage of Canadians have been of increasing concern to the powers that be in Ottawa.

Calgary has posted the highest year-over-year new housing price increase

By new housing, I mean brand new builds. This is promising in that it shows our market is moving forward, though also slightly concerning as some experts are questioning the sustainability of the increased values. Winnipeg, St. Catherine’s and Halifax follow Calgary when it comes to price increases while Edmonton is close to last, seeing little price growth in the new housing arena.

In order to be in the top 5% of income earners Canada-wide, your household must have a total income higher that $102,300 per year

This stat covers all Canadians surveyed over the age of 15. I have to say, I thought it would be higher.

Households with a total income over $191,000 are in the top 1% of Canada

How does your income compare to the national average? Keep reading to find out how many Edmontonians are in the top 1%.

High-income Canadians tended to be men, lived in a married or common-law relationship, were late middle aged, and lived in large cities

Ontario and Alberta accounted for 64% of the top 1% of income earners in 2010. Also, the majority of elite income earners had higher education. That shouldn’t come as a shock.

7% of Edmontonians are in the top 5% of income earners

Considering how underwhelmed I was with the income level of the top 5% of Canadian income earners, this statistic does not surprise me. And further to that, Edmonton is responsible for 1.2% of the top 1% of income earners Canada-wide.

52.7% of Edmonton income earners work full-time and year round

This portion of the demographic covers our local majority. The rest of our Edmonton income earners could be temporary, seasonal, part-time, or on government pension, etc.

The average income for the typical full-time/year round worker in Edmonton is $53,667

This figure does not just include employee’s as it covers a variety of employment types.

Alberta’s average income for the same type of worker is $55,507

As you can see, Edmonton is not far behind the provincial average for a typical full-time, year-round worker.

The top 3 most common occupations within this demographic are;

i.         Industrial, electrical, or construction trades

ii.         Administrative occupations and financial supervisors

iii.         Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences

Of the income earners surveyed, these are the most frequently checked off industries. If you’re looking for income levels for these types of careers, refer to the link provided at the end of this article which leads to the full Statistics Canada Survey results.

Saskatchewan has the highest percentage of self-employed income earners

15% of Saskatchewan taxpayers claimed self-employment income in 2010. Followed by Alberta and British Columbia at 10-11% of taxpayers claiming income through business-for-self channels.

These types of surveys allow us to determine borrowing trends within Canada and more locally within Alberta and Edmonton. By identifying consumer confidence through survey results, we can determine the current and potential future health of our real estate economy. If you’re thinking of getting into the housing market, or are already in it, I hope these statistics made for some interesting reading!

For the complete 2011 National Housing Survey results, and other data, visit

If you’re looking for an experienced mortgage professional, contact the Mortgagegirl at 780.433.8412 or email Stay in the loop by following on Twitter @mortgagegirlca.


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