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Old 07-22-2015, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,937 posts, read 27,326,583 times
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There are challenges but certainly the Canadian middle class doesn't seem to have a problem owning a home. It might be a SFH or it might be something else, but if you make some compromises (commute distance, space, yard, etc.) most people can own, even in the larger most desirable cities.

I am in my 40s and even the people I know in Vancouver and Toronto tend to own a home of some kind these days.

I am not sure if this will last as the home ownership window of affordability is definitely narrowing in these cities and many others, but for the moment if you want to own, you generally can.

Other points:

- Interest rates are very low these days. Mine is at 2.2%.

- Americans have a home ownership advantage with the mortage interest tax deduction. We don't have that in Canada.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-apple-less View Post
Would you say the average Canadian can hope to own a home someday, or only say the top 20 percent or people with advanced college degrees? Could Doug and Brenda who work at No Frills ever hope to own their own house, or would they have to rent forever or live in an apartment?
It sure isn't only the top 20% that own homes. Obviously house prices will vary by where you live but hair stylists own homes, mechanics own homes. Pretty much people from all walks of life own their own home. The only renters I know of off hand, are kids who are just moving out of their parental home. Doug and Brenda could certainly buy their own house.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:58 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
There are challenges but certainly the Canadian middle class doesn't seem to have a problem owning a home. It might be a SFH or it might be something else, but if you make some compromises (commute distance, space, yard, etc.) most people can own, even in the larger most desirable cities.

I am in my 40s and even the people I know in Vancouver and Toronto tend to own a home of some kind these days.

I am not sure if this will last as the home ownership window of affordability is definitely narrowing in these cities and many others, but for the moment if you want to own, you generally can.

Other points:

- Interest rates are very low these days. Mine is at 2.2%.

- Americans have a home ownership advantage with the mortage interest tax deduction. We don't have that in Canada.
And likely to go lower later this year and next as BOC is contemplating another rate cut due to tumbling commodity prices and slowing economy. Good thing for all home owners on mortgage.

Yes I agree, I think home (condo) prices in larger Canadian cities are still very affordable and reasonable, even in Vancouver and Toronto. Prices in Montreal and Toronto, even close to the city center, are currently around 300,000 CAD for a brand new 1 to 2 bed condo. That is simply unimaginable in cities like London, Shanghai, SF, where prices are at astronomical highs and so-called "middle class" families are completely priced out of the market. I just came back from Shanghai last week, where my cousin recently bought a smallish 2-bed condo in a suburban district for close to 4,000,000 RMB (about $840,000 CAD), or about 20x his annual pre-tax income in RMB. For mortgage payments alone, he and his girl friend will have to put up 50% of their monthly income. I think Canadians (and most North Americans in general) are very lucky right now in terms of housing affordability.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I agree. This whole home ownership pride is silly. One rents or buys depending on his chosen lifestyle as well as which makes more financial sense.

The urge to have a single family home sometimes a "detached" one regardless what the cost is even more irrational. These people push the prices higher so they don't get to complain.
I agree - especially in red... We're just investing what we'd otherwise be paying extra for a mortgage. The only way we'll buy a home is if its in a third world country closer to retirement. No judgement towards home owners though, as long as they don't bite off more than they can chew - financially and otherwise!
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:10 PM
 
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The price of houses has gone up over the decades, but the interest rates today are great. In the 1980s, people were sure that if they did not get into the housing market at that time, they would never be able to afford a house. That wasn't true. Today, Canadians are more able to afford a home than in the 1980s.

The price of houses depends on where one lives. In any major city, a three bedroom home on a 35 foot lot costs about $400k. A five bedroom home on a 70 foot lot costs approx. $800k-1M. In a town that may or may not have a hospital and a post-secondary institution, houses are cheap - in comparison.

I've looked a house prices in various parts of the US and I'm blown away by how cheap houses are, or by how much house one can buy for $800k.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:41 PM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,715,501 times
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Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
I've looked a house prices in various parts of the US and I'm blown away by how cheap houses are, or by how much house one can buy for $800k.
I think it's somewhat misleading. In Michigan, for example, you can buy dirt cheap housing far cheaper than anything in neighboring Ontario, but it's likely in crime infested areas or places with no work.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:31 PM
 
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Mini-Appleless

Great name! Slums and small towns are probably the same in terms of price range. I have heard about the city slums in places like Detroit. I was stunned that even grand pianos were left behind and trashed. Canada is different from that, with small towns as thriving, healthy communities. In Canada, not more than a month ago, land big enough for a house with big yard was sold for $10 ... to draw people to the small town communities.

The price of houses in small Canadian towns is cheap. Land in Florida is also cheap. Mansions in NC sold for $650,000 in 2004, and 1.3M in 2007. Regular Calgary houses with 5 bedrooms sold for $750k in 2005. US properties hit the skids with the bank mortgage fraud and government bailout, but the Canadian properties did not.
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