2 Dec 2006

:: Canadians spending more on housing: study ::


Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- A new study reports that Canadians are spending a greater proportion of their incomes on housing than they used to.

The Statistics Canada report says the vast majority of households live in suitable and adequate housing, but 1.7 million -- or 14 per cent -- spent 30 per cent or more of their budgets on shelter costs in 2004.

Traditionally, affordability has been based on a ratio of housing costs to total household income, with a household paying 30 per cent or more of its pre-tax income for housing considered to have affordability problems.

The study found 12 per cent of those spending more than the traditional limit spent between 30 and 50 per cent of their incomes on housing, and two per cent spent 50 per cent or more on housing.

The study found that people who rented were more likely to experience affordability problems.

Almost a third (31 per cent) of people who rented spent 30 per cent or more of their budgets on shelter compared with only six per cent of those who owned their homes, and most of them were living alone, relying on government assistance, or had low incomes.

The average shelter cost in 2004 was $9,400, about 15 per cent of the average household budget.

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