Affordability calculator: How much house can you handle?

Global News series 'Paying for the boom' examines the surge in home prices in several key Canadian cities in recent years. Getty Images

There’s little disputing that aside from condominiums, home ownership is getting tougher and tougher to achieve or maintain for many.

The historical rule of thumb among mortgage experts is that no more than 32 percent of household pre-tax income be spent on housing costs. A record boom in housing prices however has thrown that threshold out the window for more than a few Canadian households.

A key measure that looks at how much a typical family’s pre-tax income is going to servicing their mortgage, utilities and property taxes shows that percentage sitting at 43.3.

Our series, Paying for the boom, looks at affordability across four major centres in Canada — Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. While each city tells a different story, they all share one trait: they’ve become less affordable in recent years, and in some cases, extremely so.

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