Flashback To 1969... Is Housing Really More Unaffordable Today?
We keep hearing it on the news, from government, economists and banks... housing is more unaffordable today than it was for previous generations. Is it really as much as people claim?
We thought we would take a look and see at what the differences are.
In 1969 the average household income was hovering at around $8000.00 per year. Most were single income and if you made $10,000.00 a year, you were considered to be well paid. A new car would cost you anywhere from $600.00 to as much as $25,000.00 depending on the make and model. A quart of milk was about 10 cents, a loaf of bread the same.
If you wanted to buy a single family home in Toronto, you would be paying anywhere from $25,000.00 to as much as $100,000.00 (if you wanted a mansion). Today that seems like a steal of a deal, but let's take a look at some of the differences between then and now...
In 2001 the average size of a home was about 1700 square feet, 58% had 3 or more bedrooms, 57% have one and a half or more bathrooms. In 2001, 76 percent of homes had a washing machine, 73 percent had a dryer, 56 percent had a dishwasher, and 44 percent had a kitchen sink garbage disposal; 58 percent of homes had a garage, and 80 percent had an outdoor deck or patio. In 2001, 82 percent of homes had some form of air-conditioning and 55 percent had central air
Compare that to 1969... the average size of the home was LESS than 1200 square feet. Fewer than half of homes had three or more bedrooms and only 30 percent had 1.5 or more bathrooms, in fact not even all homes built in 1969 had central heat (only 38%) or air conditioning (11%). Can you imagine not having plumbing? Only 93% of new homes came complete with Sinks, toilets and bathtubs!
In 1969 a starter home was just that, a starter home - there were very few of the amenities that we enjoy today. Granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, etc. were not even options that were available. The cost to build a home... around $21.00 per square foot compared to over $150.00 today.
We also need to take a look at what it took to qualify for a mortgage. In 1969 you need a minimum of 25% down payment, and you could not have a GDS higher than 30% and TDS of 40%. That meant that to buy a basic small starter home you needed to come up with $6250.00 - on an income of only $8000.00 before tax, it took families years to save to buy the home.
With interest rates at 12.5% and the need to save $6250.00 it would appear that homeownership was unattainable, however rates of homeownership in Canada have remained fairly steady since 1969, and in fact have been increasing for the younger generations.
Home ownership is expensive, and as the cost of housing has gone up it has been more challenging. No longer is it easy for a single income family to buy a home, but it can still be done. There are options for mortgage financing that can assist you in achieving your dream, the best person for you to speak to is a licensed mortgage professional.