Photo: James Bombales

It’s no secret that, given the steep affordability challenges in the GTA real estate market, two home buying budgets are better than one. And, increasingly, romantic feelings aren’t a prerequisite when partnering up for a home purchase — teaming up with family members, friends, or even co-buying with strangers, has become more commonplace as prices rise.

But the housing market remains a hostile place for those aspiring to make a solo purchase, as the median income for a single-person household in most GTA municipalities hasn’t kept pace with rapidly increasing home values. As a result, single homeowners must allot far more to shelter costs than is recommended.

Buyer seeking home

To highlight just how stretched a single income can be in the GTA market, Zoocasa calculated the home-price-to-income ratio in 17 municipalities, using the regional median income reported by Statistics Canada and average January 2018 condo prices as reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

This ratio is an affordability measure that sheds light on how many multiples of total income it would take to pay off the average condo property in a given region. In other words — how many years it would take if the buyer put their entire annual salary toward paying off their home. The higher the ratio, the longer the timeline.

Not much to love

It’s common financial advice that shelter costs should not exceed three times a household’s income – but that’s clearly a tall order in the GTA, for both single- and multi-income households. The data reveals that, for the former, the lowest possible ratio is seven, to be found in the Milton and Clarington housing markets (these areas remain in affordable territory for couples, at ratios of three for both.)

Mississauga condos would cost a single buyer back 10 times their income, while homes for sale in Toronto are priciest, with Toronto Central costing a whopping 16 times the median single income.

Check out the infographic below to see which municipalities are the toughest for both single- and multiple-income home buyers.

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor of, a leading real estate resource that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse Toronto real estate listings, including townhouses, detached homes and condos.

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