Calgary's Housing affordability ranks low compared to rest of Alberta

Monday, December 7, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Calgary's Housing affordability ranks low compared to rest of Alberta

Calgary is the second-least affordable real estate market in Alberta, a new study shows. Online realty firm Zolo published a recent report ranking Alberta’s most affordable markets based on data from RBC’s Housing Trends and Affordability Report.

And it found only Chestermere was more unaffordable than Calgary out of 27 municipalities.

“The ability to find employment was a key factor in our list and one of the big reasons why … Calgary did not do as well in our ranking,” says Romana King, director of content for Zolo.

Calgary did have a relatively high median income at more than $85,000, which improves affordability, she notes. But its unemployment rate was 12.6 per cent. Although similar to other towns and cities, Calgary’s home price to income ratio set it apart in terms of affordability.

It had the second-highest ratio in the study at 5.46, again trailing only Chestermere at 5.89. By contrast, the most affordable cities were Lloydminster, Cold Lake, Grande Prairie, Sylvan Lake and Fort McMurray. Somewhat surprisingly, Canmore — a famously high priced market — ranked 16th ahead of Airdrie, Edmonton and Cochrane.

“The average housing costs may be quite high,” King adds. But Canmore also has more stable employment and higher median incomes. “Canmore homeowners are often well-positioned to be gainfully employed in a job that” leads to more relative home affordability.

Even though Calgary ranked near the bottom, the city remains very affordable compared with other parts of Canada outside of Alberta.

As King further notes, the benchmark home price in Calgary is $464,537 — as stated in the RBC report — far below the national average of more than $607,000.

Brought By Calgary Herald