How much money do you need to make to buy a home in these Canadian cities?

Buying a place to call your own is a goal many Canadians have, but it’s an aspiration escaping the middle class thanks to prices that continue to soar. An average home in Vancouver will set you back almost one million dollars according to real estate marking company RentSeeker, which analyzed housing prices across the country in 2015. Their data shows that a family needs to make $120,297 a year to afford the $909,293 price tag. British Columbia is the most expensive province with an average home price of $667,480.

Toronto and Ontario aren’t far behind. The average price across the province is $471,654. In Toronto you’ll have to shell out $641,617 to buy a home, and that will require annual earnings of $87,407 according to RentSeeker. This helpful conversion tool converts annual salaries to hourly rates.

The cheapest city in Canada was Trois Rivieres, Que., the country’s oldest industrial city with a tiny population of only 48,285. The average price for a home there is only $162,313, and you need to make a meager $28,515 a year to afford it.

To afford a home in Trois Rivieres, Que., you need to make around $13.75 per hour.

The cheapest city in Ontario is Windsor, with an average home price ringing in at just under two hundred thousand dollars ($198,113). “Factors that have impacted home prices in Canada over the past decade include a strong economy, low interest rates and favourable mortgage insurance rules,” according to Priced Out, a study conducted by RBC and the Pembina Institute which examined housing trends across the country.

These factors have increased the demand for homes and driven up prices across Canada, including in the GTA.

Demand points to Vancouver and Toronto as the hottest destinations in Canada – with a high quality of life and natural beauty to boast as assets. But foreign investment is also driving up the price by eroding the supply of housing available for Canadians living in those cities. British Columbia recently introduced a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax to curb escalating costs – a move Toronto is watching closely.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver home sales dropped 75% after foreign buyer tax announced: realtor

Average rental prices across the country echo the lows and highs of home prices, with Vancouver and Toronto once again leading the pack. A recent study by Urbanation found that the average rent for a condominium unit in Toronto was almost $2,000 a month.
“There’s virtually no vacancy in the marketplace,” said Vice President Shaun Hildebrand. A decrease in the supply of rental units is one of the factors driving up price. The trend is a troubling one for the city’s Housing Advocate, Ana Bailao. “You lose the opportunity to attract a lot of investment that wants to come to our city,” she said.

Companies start looking at our city as a place that’s too expensive for their workers to work, too expensive to attract human capital.

Taking a closer look at Toronto, property management company Sky View Suites compiled data on the average sale price of homes near TTC subway stations. The analysis took into account values of detached homes and condominiums with three or more bedrooms from June 2015 to June 2016.

Homes near York Mills, Castle Frank and Summerhill stations had the highest values, while those near Warden, Kennedy and Victoria Park stations – all in the city’s east end – had the lowest. Generally speaking, proximity to transit hubs is known to have a positive impact on property values.

These are the 25 “worst” countries in the world

Though there will likely be little debate about the countries that made the list, because of the negative connotations of the superlative “worst” I’ve chosen to use the phrase “least livable” based on the indicators chosen by MSN.com to compile the list:

  • GNI per capita: the dollar value of a country’s final annual income divided by the population. It reflects the average income of a country’s residents.
  • Percentage of residents with at least some high school education
  • Life expectancy

All but two of the 25 countries are in Africa, including the one which topped the list: Niger. The nation has a population of 18.5 million and the average life expectancy within its borders is only 61.4 years – likely because there is only 1 doctor for every 50,000 residents in the country (physician density).

The country’s military is currently gripped in violent conflict with Boko Haram, which has escalated its attacks since March. According to reports the group’s campaign of violence has “killed at least 17,000 people and made more than 2.6 million others homeless.”

Citizens and commerce also battle the region’s climate: Arid conditions, including extended droughts, routinely suffocate the country’s agrarian and subsistence-based economy.

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services and insufficient funds to develop its resource base. (CIA World Factbook)

After winning independence from France in 1960, the country was under single-party military rule until 1991. When public pressure finally brought about democratic reform, political infighting led to a coup in 1996.

There would be at least two more similar political upheavals which led to the suspension of the constitution and dissolution of parliament in February of 2010.

This is what job insecurity looks like in Ontario and what can be done about it

Today nearly one million workers juggle two or more jobs and over two million suffer the uncertainty of temporary employment – the highest number ever recorded in Canada.

These findings in United Way’s report, The Precarity Penalty, cast doubt on notions of employment wellbeing by underscoring the growing uncertainty and instability eroding prosperity in the province.

During the past decade, over 550,000 manufacturing workers have been laid off.

The study was based on 4,193 surveys conducted in 2014 and 28 interviews done in early 2015. Less than half of those asked reported having a permanent, full-time job with benefits beyond wage according to the report.

In its narrowest sense, precarious employment is defined as work which is temporary, casual, or seasonal. According to Stats Canada 11 per cent of workers landed within these parameters in 2014.

A broader understanding of the term includes those who are self-employed without any employees – contractors and freelancers for example. This category has almost doubled since 1976 and now represents 1 in 10 workers in Canada according to the report.

Employment that is secure, that provides a full range of benefits and that has a possible career path is generally viewed as better employment, and it is often referred to as a Standard Employment Relationship.

Looking at the graph above from data compiled for the report, standard employment (full-time) has fallen in all measured areas of Ontario except Halton and York Regions between 2011 and 2014.  It tumbled the farthest, 6.4 per cent, in Hamilton.

Conversely temporary and contract (precarious) work has risen in most areas. Here again, the change was most pronounced in Hamilton: 4.6 per cent.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • Workers in less secure, low-income employment are the least likely to have access to any sort of training. This may trap some workers in poverty-wage jobs that do not pay a living wage.
  • Access to childcare is a major barrier, limiting access to good employment and limiting the ability of both parents to work for pay.
  • Racialized workers and foreign-born workers face significant discrimination in finding secure, high-paying employment.

The situation is even less encouraging for visible minorities. Between 2011 and 2014 the number of precariously employed rose sharply by 8.2 per cent, from 27.1 to 35.3 per cent, for racialized workers, but actually fell for non-visible minorities.

The reverse trend was true for the securely employed: The number of non-visible minorities benefiting from full-time, stable work rose between 2011 and 2014, but fell for visible minorities.

I say, ‘But I can’t afford it.’ Sometimes, they offer to buy for me, but then I just say, ‘Can we go somewhere cheaper?’ And they understand. . . . I sometimes feel pretty isolated. I try not to think about it, but it’s hard because, sometimes, I’m waking up crying in the middle of the night. (survey participant)

Though the most immediate and acute impacts of precarious labour are borne by the individual, the wider fallout affects society more generally.

According to the report, the precariously employed are less likely to vote. Men with unstable work are more likely to delay marriage and rent rather than purchase a home. It’s believed the latter results in weaker attachments to the community because congested with the worries of shelter and the necessities of life, people simply don’t care as much.

Increased income has a strong positive effect on the level of community participation.

More concerning still is that it appears people are just giving up. Labour market participation rates have been falling. “Workers with fewer educational credentials are simply dropping out of the labour force, a trend most pronounced for young men with limited formal education,” said Tom Zizys, Metcalf Foundation Fellow at the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity.

The United Way has come up with a number of recommendations to address the problem:

  • All sectors need to prioritize training and ensure that training is embedded within a workforce-development strategy that connects with real employment opportunities and that meets the unique needs of workers in precarious employment.
  • Governments should explore how to improve access to government-provided training and how to better support access to employer-provided training for those in insecure employment.
  • All sectors need to give more consideration to career-laddering opportunities for workers in precarious employment, as part of new workforce-development strategies that include attention to skills accreditation.
  • All sectors should assess how they can contribute in the effort to build awareness of discrimination within the labour market – not only in hiring, but also in retaining and advancing qualified workers who are racialized, women and/or immigrants.
  • The provincial government should include the examination of systemic barriers – of race, gender and immigration discrimination – in their employment and labour standards review, employment services and training review, and wage-gap strategy.
  • The provincial government and employers are urged to consider the amount of notice given to workers regarding their shifts.
  • The provincial government should accelerate implementation of its commitment to expand access to prescription drug benefits for low-income Ontarians.
  • The federal government could address the needs of parents in precarious employment by exploring parental-leave options that better align Employment Insurance with today’s labour market.