Even Top 1% Earners Under 34 Struggle to Afford Homes in Kelowna

Even Top 1% Earners Under 34 Struggle to Afford Homes in Kelowna
April 29, 2024

In Kelowna, BC, even the highest income earners among young adults find themselves priced out of the freehold housing market. A recent analysis by our brokerage exposes the harsh reality: the dream of homeownership in this popular Canadian region is increasingly out of reach, even for the top 1%.

Income vs. Affordability

The top 1% of Canadians under 34 earned at least $141,000 annually after tax in 2021. Adjusted for inflation (11.4%), this translates to approximately $157,000 in 2024. Despite this seemingly robust salary, stringent mortgage qualification criteria create a significant affordability barrier.

Source: Statistics Canada

Mortgage Stress Test

The mortgage stress test, designed to ensure borrowers can withstand potential interest rate increases, significantly impacts purchasing power. Under current conditions, a young adult earning $157,000 with no debt could qualify for a maximum mortgage of $587,405 based on a 5.5% interest rate and 25-year amortization. This assumes minimal monthly housing costs for heating ($200) and property taxes ($450) and a modest down payment (around 7.1%).

Source: CIBC

Numbers Don't Match Market

When compared to local real estate prices, the mortgage amount a high-income earner qualifies for falls short of most property types in Kelowna. Here's a breakdown of average property prices in March 2024:

  • Townhouse: $702,899 (out of reach)
  • Duplex: $731,813 (out of reach)
  • Apartment:  $480,482 (feasible option, but smaller living space)
  • Mobile Home: $265,182 (potentially an option, but may not suit everyone's needs)
  • Single-family Homes: Significantly exceed affordability range

These numbers paint a stark picture. Even with a top 1% income, options are limited to smaller apartments or mobile homes. The gap between income levels and housing prices in Kelowna's central Okanagan region continues to widen at an alarming rate.

Source: Association of Interior Realtors

Dream of Homeownership

The traditional dream of owning a townhome or even a condo on a single income is increasingly out of reach for many young adults. Substantial down payments or dual-income households are often necessary, highlighting a shift in the socio-economic landscape. Achieving homeownership, once considered a hallmark of financial success, is now a challenging feat even for the wealthiest young Canadians in Kelowna.

A Call to Action

This analysis not only reveals the current state of the Kelowna housing market but also raises critical questions about the future accessibility of homeownership for younger generations across Canada. With soaring prices and stringent regulations, innovative solutions and policy considerations are needed to ensure that the dream of owning a home remains attainable for all Canadians.

Your Partner in Kelowna's Market

We understand the complexities of navigating Kelowna's dynamic real estate landscape.  Whether you're a young professional, a growing family, or an investor, our team of experienced agents is here to guide you through the process. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and explore all available options to achieve your homeownership goals in Kelowna.


Subscribe to our email newsletter!

Thanks for joining our newsletter
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related posts

Left Arrow
Left Arrow
Right Arrow
Right Arrow