Sunny  Chiu

Sunny Chiu

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Housing Affordability in Canada: 2021 RE/MAX Report

One in three Canadians considering “workarounds” to buy a home amidst declining housing affordability in Canada, supply shortages

  • Of those Canadians who are considering alternative ways to become homeowners, 54% are Millennials and Gen Z
  • 15% of Canadians reported they were able to grow their savings during the pandemic and plan to use these funds as a down payment on a home in the next six to 12 months
  • Winnipeg and Regina continue to be two of the more affordable markets in Canada year-over-year, with an average selling price below $350,000
  • St. John’s tops the list of most affordable cities in 2021, with an average selling price at $307,619
  • 45% of Canadians agree that a national housing strategy would improve their ability to own a home

Mississauga, ON and Kelowna, BC (July 20, 2021) — In a new report exploring housing affordability in Canada in 2021, RE/MAX found that one in three (33%) Canadian homebuyers is exploring alternative options to help them get a foot into the housing market. These include renting out a portion of a primary residence (21%), pooling finances with friends or family to purchase a home (13%) and living with like-minded neighbours in a co-op/shared living arrangement (7%).

According to a Leger survey commissioned by RE/MAX, 42% of Canadians said the high price of real estate was a barrier to entry into the market. This is up just 4% over last year – surprising, given the consistent price growth experienced by housing markets from coast to coast over the past year. Among prospective homebuyers, millennials and Gen Z are most likely to consider alternative regions and communities, and/or financing options to keep affordability in play.


Key barriers impacting personal housing affordability in Canada, according to consumers:

  • a shortfall in salary (26%)
  • the fear of rising interest rates (18%)
  • the fear of being “house poor” (18%)
  • lack of steady full-time employment (16%)
  • current levels of household debt (11%)
  • the mortgage stress test (11%)


Housing Affordability Index

RE/MAX Canada analyzed house price to income ratio by city in Canada. Here’s how they ranked.

Housing Affordability in Canada_2021 data table


Most Affordable Neighbourhoods to Buy a Home

Short of exploring alternative solutions to find and achieve housing affordability in Canada, those who are willing to expand their boundaries can still find “hidden gem” neighbourhoods with homes at below-average prices. In a wider survey, RE/MAX Canada brokers and agents were asked to identify the most affordable neighbourhoods in the communities they serve. From approximately 300 survey submissions received between June 16 – 30,2021, some of the most affordable neighbourhoods topping the list include:

  • Washington Park, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • New Waterford, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
  • West Flat, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Bayview, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Portage La Prairie, Central Plains, Manitoba

Meanwhile, in what are traditionally considered Canada’s most expensive cities to buy a home, this same survey also identified “relatively affordable” neighbourhoods where homes can be purchased at prices below the city-wide average. Some of these neighbourhoods include:

  • New Westminster in Greater Vancouver, BC
  • Penbrooke, Rundle and Dover in Calgary, Alberta
  • Regent Park in Toronto, Ontario
  • North End Hamilton, Ontario
  • Hawthorne, Carlton Place and Vanier in Ottawa, Ontario


Courtesy - Re/



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