According to the International Housing Affordability Survey 2009, Calgary was ranked 188 out of 265 cities (#1 = most affordable) in six countries (Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States). Housing prices in Calgary are 21% higher than the Canadian average, but median family income is 33% higher than the national average. See graph below.
Financing your home:
If you have to get a mortgage of greater than 80% of the sale price, then you pay considerably more for insurance premiums and risk fees. Your lender may require 25% down instead of only 20% to qualify for a "conventional mortgage". Check your local market area.
Lenders will also want to include strata fees, utilities and additional debt payments to your total monthly payment calculation. Check your local market area.
Lenders typically calculate your gross (pre-tax) monthly household income required before a they will approve your mortgage using a Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR) of 36%. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) states that the Debt Service Ratio among lenders, ranges between 32% and 40% depending on what expenses are used in their formula.
For more information on the latest development projects in Calgary, visit the Urban Development Institute’s website. For information on some of the builders offering new construction in the city, visit the Canadian Home Builders' Association – Calgary Region.
International housing affordability
The price to income ratio is the basic affordability measure for housing in a given area. It is generally the ratio of median house prices to median familial disposable incomes, expressed as a percentage or as years of income. This ratio is a basic component of mortgage lending decisions.
CANADIAN CITIES AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES
VARIABLE HOUSING PRICES IN THE CALGARY REGION
There is considerable variability of housing price in the Calgary Region. As a general rule, house prices decline the greater the distance from downtown Calgary. Exceptions to the rule are the mountain communities of Banff and Canmore. The ‘closer-in’ satellite communities (Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane, Okotoks) have also house prices rise relative to prices in the City of Calgary over recent years as they continue to transform into independent, sustainable communities with local employment opportunities.
THE CALGARY REGION IS AFFORDABLE
In the Calgary Region (2008), 24% of income is spent on housing and house operation. This includes the cost of a mortgage and utilities. There is extensive housing choice in the Calgary Region. All forms of housing are within reach of average family income in the Calgary Region.
|Type||Price||Qualifying Household Income|
* Based on a 25% down payment and a 25-year mortgage loan at a five-year fixed rate -excluding maintenance fees, and Calgary housing price averages at the time of calculation. Source: RBC.
|Type||September 2009||September 2010|
|Newly Completed and unabsorbed Single Detached and Semidetached||$573,146||$534,172|
|Source: CMHC. October 2010|
Housing affordability has improved in Alberta since 2007, and now falls within Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation requirements for a Debt Service Ratio among lenders ranging between 32% and 40% depending on what expenses are used in their formulae.
RENTING A HOME
There is a large variety of housing available for rent in Calgary, and the market for renters eased slightly in 2009, making it a little easier (and a little cheaper) to find a rental home than it had been in recent years. Here are some of the average prices based on residence type, according to a fall 2009 report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:
Two-bedroom apartment - $1,099/month
Two-bedroom condominium - $1,310/month
Two-bedroom single-detached house - $1,076/month
Three-bedroom single-detached house - $1,392/month