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You make $75,000 per year. Will you ever be able to afford a Toronto house?


Owning a house in Toronto is a dream for thousands of people that continues to feel further and further out of reach.

With the average price of a Toronto home now above $1 million, many discouraged people sitting on the sidelines are wondering if the dream will ever become a reality.

This week, CTV News Toronto asked Chief Financial Commentator Patricia Lovett-Reid if it will ever be possible to own a home in Toronto if you're a single-income earner making around $75,000. 

Lovett-Reid says the "harsh reality" is no.

"On $75,000 per year in Toronto, it isn't going to happen," Lovett-Reid said. "Unless you really are getting financial help from your parents."

She said that even if you’re able to come up with enough money for the down payment, people making around $75,000 per year will struggle with making ends meet on a day-to-day basis. 

A new home is displayed for sale in a new housing development in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

Between making mortgage payments and service fees, Lovett-Reid said you simply "can't do the math."

She estimates that in order to comfortably pay all the fees associated with a $1 million house, you would need about $200,000 of income per year. 

Lovett-Reid said that purchasing a "very small" condo might be an option, but with $75,000 per year it will still be a stretch.

So what should you do? 

Lovett-Reid said it's all about compromise.

"You can’t have it all at the same time," she said.

For people who are set on buying a home, Lovett-Reid suggests continuing to save aggressively, while also looking to purchase in areas outside of the city.

"Be prepared to know what you will do and won’t do," she said. "Are you prepared to commute? If so, great. Look for a place on a commuter line."

And for those not willing to leave the city? Lovett-Reid said people should not be discouraged.

"There's nothing wrong with renting," she said. "There is nothing wrong with saying 'This imbalance in the market means I'm going to stay on the sidelines.'"

'I think it's an old paradigm where a rite of passage into adulthood means you own a home. It doesn't. It's just not the reality that today’s millennials are facing."

A CIBC report, released last month, found that Canadian parents are giving their children record amounts of money to purchase a home.

About 30 per cent of first-time home buyers received financial help from family this past year, the report found. CIBC said they were given an average of $82,000 to help with their down payment.

According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, the average price of a detached home that sold in the city in September was $1.7 million. 

The average for a semi-detached that sold was $1.3 million, while a townhouse was $930,000. 

The average selling price of a condo in September was $744,730.

Do you have a financial question or topic you would like Pattie Lovett-Reid discuss? E-mail Top Stories

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