Thursday, November 23, 2006

Housing Hitting Family Budgets

Canadians are spending an unusually large proportion of their family incomes to keep a roof over their heads.

Most households have suitable and adequate housing, but 1.7 million or 14 % spent 30 % or more of their budgets on shelter costs in 2004.

Traditionally, affordability has been based on a ratio of housing costs to total household income, with a household paying 30 % or more of its pre-tax income for housing considered to have affordability problems.

Housing prices will remain strong in the West and stable in central and Atlantic Canada through the rest of 2006 and into 2007.

12 % of those spending more than the traditional limit spent between 30 and 50 % of family incomes on housing, and 2 % spent 50 % or more.

People who rented were more likely to experience affordability problems.

Almost a third (31 %) of people who rented spent 30 % or more of their budgets on shelter, compared with only 6 % for those who owned their homes, and most of them were living alone, relying on government assistance, or had low incomes.

The average shelter cost in 2004 was $9,400, about 15 % of the average household budget.


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