Rentseeker has looked at the math, and there’s one place in Canada where it says housing affordability merits a “satisfactory” rating.
And as the Great White North goes, it’s pretty far up there.
The rental portal has released a new infographic that shows the cost of renting across Canada, based on its own data, as well as information provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
It also derived ratings from “satisfactory” to “severe” using information from theCanadian Rental Housing Index (CRHI), which compares average renter household income against average income spent on rent and utilities.
The index considers affordability differently than the CMHC does — the latter looks at 30 per cent of income as the threshold for what’s considered “affordable” shelter.
Rentseeker found that Nunavut was the only place in Canada that merited a “satisfactory” affordability rating.
About nine per cent of average income there is spent on renting, according to the infographic, and the CRHI.
But the cost of renting nevertheless remains significant on its own. The cost to rent any kind of housing was more expensive in Nunavut than in any other province or territory.
A bachelor unit alone rents for $1,516 on average, while a three-bedroom unit rents for $2,981.
The average home price in the territory is $525,801, second only to B.C.’s $698,718.
That finding forms a marked contrast with common knowledge about Nunavut, a territory that has long been the focus of stories about high food prices.
It also contrasts with information contained in the CMHC’s most recent “Northern Housing Report.”
Housing in Nunavut doesn’t work the way it does in most parts of Canada, the report noted. Residents there live in non-market housing such as “social housing, subsidized housing for government employees and housing provided to employees by private firms.”
The report also showed that you have to make at least $100,000 to “affordably secure any market rent” or to buy a condo in the territory.
The median after-tax income of Nunavut households was $85,605 in 2015.
So while housing in the territory still seems relatively out of the reach of local incomes, the infographic nevertheless gives a snapshot of where people have their best chance at renting a place across Canada.