With home prices in the province boasting some of the highest in the nation, it’s no wonder many residents are struggling when it comes to buying a home.

Prices are especially high in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which contains the Greater Toronto Area (Toronto and the regions of Halton, Peel, York and Durham), and spans from the regions of Niagara and Waterloo in the west, toward the counties of Peterborough and Northumberland in the east.

The Greater Horseshoe Region is one of North America’s fastest-growing areas, with a population of over nine million people, making it home to a quarter of Canada’s residents. The region also attracts one in three new immigrants arriving in Canada.

The survey is by real estate site Zoocasa. It defined the affordability of owning a home by a price-to-income ratio. It assumes, for the purpose of simplifying the metrics of the survey, that 100 per cent of a homeowner’s income per year is devoted toward the price of the home. (Statistics in each area for average home prices and average incomes were provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association.)

According to financial experts, the ideal affordability ratio is three, or three years. With such a ratio, only two markets are identified as affordable for households with two or more incomes (Thunder Bay and Sudbury), with none affordable for single-income households.

Here are the five Ontario cities with the most affordable housing:

  1. Thunder Bay: single-income ratio: 6, dual-income ratio: 2, average home price: $217,754.
  2. Sudbury: single-income ratio: 9, dual-income ratio: 3, average home price: $268,696.
  3. Windsor: single-income ratio: 9, dual-income ratio: 4, average home price: $303,183.
  4. Ottawa-Gatineau: single-income ratio: 9, dual-income ratio: 4, average home price: $418.232.
  5. Kingston: single-income ratio: 10, dual-income ratio: 4, average home price: $366,582.

Here are the five Ontario cities having least affordable housing, in descending order:

  1. Greater Toronto Area: single-income ratio: 20, dual-income ratio: 9, average home price: $804.584.
  2. Hamilton: single-income ratio: 16, dual-income ratio: 6, average home price: $569,490.
  3. Oakville: single-income ratio: 15, dual-income ratio: 5, average home price: $719,000.
  4. Durham: single-income ratio: 14, dual-income ratio: 6, average home price: $604,510.
  5. Peterborough: single-income ratio: 15, dual-income ratio: 5, average home price: $448,875.

These survey results indicate that affordability generally becomes easier radiating away from the Greater Toronto Area. However, there are some pockets of affordability close to the GTA.

Here are the most affordable areas closest to the GTA, from furthest to closest in distance from Toronto:

  1. Barrie: single-income ratio: 12, dual-income ratio: 5, average home price: $481,400.
  2. Guelph: single-income ratio: 11, dual-income ratio: 4, average home price: $436,000.
  3. Burlington: single-income ratio: 12, dual-income ratio: 5, average home price: $569,490.
  4. Oakville: single-income ratio: 15, dual-income ratio: 5, average home price: $719,000.
  5. Milton: single-income ratio: 13, dual-income ratio: 6, average home price: $719,000.
  6. Durham: single-income ratio: 14, dual-income ratio: 6, average home price: $604,514.

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