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Home affordability improved across most of Canada in November

November 2023 affordability report

Cooling home prices continued to ease affordability conditions across much of Canada in November, despite persistently high mortgage rates.

According to the latest affordability data compiled by, the minimum required income to purchase a home declined in all but one of the cities studied last month. That indicates home values have dropped by a sufficient amount to offset the challenging borrowing environment; the average mortgage rate ticked up slightly on a monthly basis, to 6.5% from 6.47%, pushing the average mortgage stress test threshold to 8.5%.

“Affordability improved for the second month in a row due to home values dropping and mortgage rates holding steady in November," said James Laird, Co-CEO of and President of CanWise mortgage lender.

“We expect this trend to continue in December with rates and home values dropping.”

The study calculates the minimum annual income required to buy an average home in some of Canada’s major cities based on November 2023 and October 2023 real estate data. It also factors in how changing mortgage rates, stress test rates and real estate prices are impacting the income needed to buy a home. 

Also read: Buyers and sellers to “hunker down” until spring: CREA

Calgary remains the outlier

Alberta’s most populous city was the lone market to buck the trend, as the average home price increased by $2,000 on a monthly basis to $557,400. In November, home buyers in wild rose country required an income of $660 more to afford the average-priced property than compared to October.

The Hamilton housing market, meanwhile, saw the greatest improvement in affordability as the average home price fell $23,400 on a month-over-month basis to $805,700.

"Home values and the income required to purchase a home decreased in nine out of the 10 cities we looked at,” said Laird.

“Hamilton continued to see the most improvement, with $4,160 less income needed to purchase a home. Toronto remained close behind with $3,850 less income required. Both these cities saw big home price declines, with a $23,400 drop for Hamilton and $22,300 for Toronto.”

November 2023: How much do you need to earn to buy a home in Canada?'s November 2023 Home Affordability Report.

Data in the chart is based on a mortgage with 20% down payment, 25-year amortization, $4,000 annual property taxes and $150 monthly heating. Mortgage rates are the average of the Big Five Banks’ 5-year fixed rates in November 2023 and October 2023. Average home prices are from the CREA MLS® Home Price Index (HPI).

Affordability poised to improve as future rate cuts loom

While mortgage rates remained elevated between October and November, the promise of lower mortgage rates awaits on the horizon – and will further improve affordability for borrowers should they materialize.

Expectations for lower rates are strengthening, following rate holds from both the Bank of Canada and US Federal Reserve this month; analysts and markets have been particularly encouraged by projects released alongside the American central bank’s rate announcement that point to three quarter-point cuts in 2024 alone, as economic conditions cool. 

Bond yields have lowered considerably in response, easing from a high of 4.4% in mid October to the 3.2% range today. That’s a dip of 120 basis points, and has put considerable downward pressure on fixed mortgage rates, with the lowest available five-year option now below the 5% threshold.

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Penelope Graham, Director of Content

Penelope has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics and her commentary on the housing market is featured on both national and local media outlets.