The cost of the first year of homeownership averages more than $315,000 in Ontario: report

Cities in Ontario took seven of the top 10 spots for the most expensive cities in Canada for first year of homeownership

For Ontarians aspiring to buy a home one day, they might imagine that the hard part is over once their offer gets accepted and they sign the papers. But a new report has found that the cost of the first year of homeownership is stacked with extra costs that can make ownership seem even further out of reach. Cities in Ontario took seven of the top 10 spots for the most expensive cities in Canada for first year of homeownership, including Toronto coming in at number six.

The report, from Point2 Homes, analysed data of the upfront and recurring costs during the first year of homeownership in 50 of Canada’s most populous cities, including the downpayment, closing costs, first mortgage payments, homeowners’ insurance and property taxes. The data showed that Toronto is the Canadian city with the sixth-most expensive first year of homeownership, at $315,031. The city came in behind Richmond Hill in first place at $400,733, Markham at $383,469, Oakville at $378,122, Vaughan at $369,051 and Vancouver at $331,638. Ontario cities Whitby and Milton also made the top 10 most expensive list. On average, the report found the first year of homeownership costs more than $315,000 in Ontario.

With Ontario cities topping the list, residents might be looking to other provinces when it comes time to try to buy a house. According to the report, Québec might be the place — Saguenay, Que. topped the list of cities with the cheapest first year at $74,342, followed by Trois-Rivières and Québec City. Regina, Sask., St. John's, Nfld. and Winnipeg, Man. also came in under $100,000. Four of the seven cities with first year costs under $100,000 are located in Québec, making the first year of homeownership five times more expensive in some Ontario cities in comparison.

If moving out of province isn't your plan, there are a few Ontario cities with lower costs. Greater Sudbury has the cheapest first year costs in Ontario at $119,472, and Kingston, London, Windsor and St. Catharines all have first year costs below $170,000 (Ottawa came in just over at $171,997).

The report also calculated how many years of saving it would take in each city to cover the full first year costs of homeownership, assuming a 20 per cent downpayment and 20 per cent of a renter's yearly income going toward homeownership. It would take 22 years of saving to afford the first year costs in Toronto, and 26 or more years in Vaughan. Markham, Oakville and Richmond Hill.

The data paints a dire picture of the state of housing in Toronto and Ontario, at a time when the GTA is seeing the lowest number of home sales in two decades and an average selling price that's still at $1,038,668 despite a 16.4 per cent year-over-year drop.

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