Most households in North Saanich – and especially families – cannot afford the most common type of housing in the community (single-detached homes) despite residents reporting significantly higher average incomes than the rest of the region.
The municipality commissioned the study in 2019 after the provincial government introduced new regulations requiring municipalities to complete such housing assessment needs within three years with updates due every five years.
The report prepared by Urban Matters concludes that family-sized housing “is increasingly out of reach” with some types of families practically shut out.
“Based on the affordability threshold of housing costs being no more than 30 (per cent) of gross household income, single-detached homes and townhouses are out of reach for most households making the median income...”
The report cites an affordable monthly shelter cost of $3,958 for couple-with-children households with a total median household income of $158,300. But such households would have to find another $1,553 if they were to purchase a single-detached home in North Saanich based on the 2019 average sales price of $1,157,278.
Couple-with-children households would be in easier financial position if purchasing townhouses or apartments.
Yet, more than nine out of 10 housing unit are single-detached homes. Townhouses account for an insignificant share of housing. In 2016, North Saanich had only 175 row house, with three additional units having come on the market since then.
Couples-with-children households would still need to spend approximately 42 per cent of their monthly income on shelter costs for the average townhouse sales price.
Homeownership “is likely out of reach” for single-income households like lone-parent and non-census families, who would need to spend 50 per cent or more of their monthly income to be able to afford most housing types.
Almost seven out 10 households consist out of one or two people, what the report calls “likely older individuals or couples whose children have moved away.”
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