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How Much Do You Need To Make To Buy A Home?

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Blog by Mary Roy | June 3rd, 2014

Earlier this year, RBC Economics released their housing affordability report for the last quarter of 2013. Affordability saw a modest improvement in the last days of the year, but the financial institution warned that conditions in 2014 could worsen.

It looks like their prediction is already coming true.

We covered the new Q1 2014 report from RBC, which pointed to a picture of eroding affordability in Canada. But we wanted to look a little bit closer at how qualifying income has changed in major cities. It's where the affordability issue is felt the most, especially for would-be buyers dreaming of a single-family home in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, markets that have seen recent momentum.

RBC defines qualifying income as the minimum annual income used by lenders to measure the ability of a borrower to make mortgage payments. Typically, that amounts to no more than 32 percent of a borrower's gross annual income.

In Vancouver, Canada's most expensive real estate market, the qualifying income for a standard two-storey house was $162,900, the second-highest amount recorded for the city over the past 11 quarters. Toronto and Calgary both reached new heights, rising to $139,400 respectively. In the last quarter, Calgary also overtook Ottawa for the first time, with the nation's capital seeing a slight decrease in qualifying income to $93,500.

To see the minimum qualifying incomes to buy a home in Canada's six largest markets, view the link below.