Prospective homebuyers and sellers can often benefit from paying attention to trends in their local markets. Recently, research was released showing the least and more affordable residential real estate markets in Alberta. The figures were calculated using the price-to-income ratio in each major market in the province.
According to the research, the least affordable housing markets in the province of Alberta are Canmore, Camrose, Calgary, Okotoks and Edmonton. Fort McMurray topped the list of most affordable markets, followed by Cold Lake, Grande Prairie, Fort Saskatchewan and Airdrie. In Fort McMurray, the median dual income is $221,425 and the median single income is $106,912 while the average housing price is just $439,664. This makes the price-to-income ratio only 2:1 for a dual income household.
Analysts were unsurprised by the figures, which showed a more affordable price-to-income ratio in oil industry regions. Meanwhile, more expensive housing prices were noted in the Rocky Mountain town of Canmore. The research also revealed that although some parts of Alberta are more affordable than others, in no area can a single person making the median income purchase a home within reason.
The standard for "within reason" is based on the rule of thumb from finance experts, who say a home's price-to-income ratio should be at or under three in order for the purchase to be advisable. For 13 Alberta cities, the average dual income household reaches this standard. Those who are looking to purchase residential real estate should take steps to protect their investment by working with a real estate lawyer in the province.