Here's How Much You Need To Make To Get A Mortgage In Canada's Major Cities Right Now

It's much, much easier to get approved for a mortgage in some areas.👇

Trending Editor
A residential street in Canada.

A residential street in Canada.

If you're considering getting on the property ladder in 2023, you might be wondering exactly how much money you need to make to get a mortgage in Canada.

Well, the answer is that it depends on where you want to buy a house in Canada, and what type of property you're interested in purchasing.

What is clear though, is that interest rate increases by the Bank of Canada is making it harder for many people to buy homes.

Earlier in January, the central bank raised its policy rate to 4.5% – an increase of 25 basis points.

It was the eighth consecutive time the BoC has raised the cost of borrowing since March last year, and it's now the highest key rate since 2007.

A recent housing affordability report from RBC, published last month, found that buyers continue to face higher ownership costs in every market that RBC is tracking.

The report notes that "higher mortgage rates require deeper pockets from coast to coast," and that was before the central bank's most recent hike to interest rates.

With that in mind, here's a closer look at how much money you might need to make to be able to get approved for a mortgage in Canada's major cities.

How much do you need to make to get a mortgage in Canada?

Exactly how much you need to make to get approved for a mortgage really depends on a number of factors, including where you're looking to buy, how much of a deposit you have, and the cost of the property you want to buy.

The income you may need to get accepted for a mortgage in Canada's major cities ranges from $73,752 to $268,000, so there's a pretty big range.

A closer look at each province considered in RBC's report can help give a clearer insight into the income ranges – and help you figure out how realistic buying a home in your area really is.


While Alberta's market is comparatively more affordable than B.C.'s or Ontario's right now, those hoping to buy a home in the province will still need a considerable income to qualify for a mortgage.

RBC's data suggests that, at the end of 2022, buyers would need to earn just under six figures ($99,892) to qualify for a mortgage in Edmonton, and $123,340 to get one in Calgary.

The report notes that these figures "widely exceed" the average salaries in these cities, including in Calgary where the median household income is $92,000.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, those hoping to get a mortgage in B.C. will need pretty deep pockets.

According to RBC, to qualify for a mortgage on the purchase of a typical home, Vancouver-area buyers needed to earn a six-figure salary ($200,000) in the third quarter of 2021.

By the end of 2022, the same buyers would need to earn 34% more – a whopping $268,000 annually – to qualify for a mortgage.

It's not quite as expensive in other regions of B.C., with home buyers in Victoria, for example, needing to earn at least $215,876 each year to be in with a shot of getting approved for a mortgage.

"What was already a very tough hurdle to clear is now nearly impossible for many potential purchasers," RBC notes, adding that it's "no wonder" homebuyer demand has plummeted since interest rates began to climb.


Those hoping to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home in Winnipeg are faring slightly better than their counterparts in other regions, as the required income remains within the five-figure range.

Winnipeggers will need to earn just under $85,000 ($84,279) to qualify for a mortgage, although it's worth noting that this has increased from $66,467 in 2021.

New Brunswick

Saint John, in New Brunswick, is currently one of the easiest major cities to get a mortgage in right now.

That's because the required income to get a mortgage is the lowest among the markets tracked by RBC's report.

While the minimum income required was $73,752 as of the end of 2022 – which seems pretty affordable when compared with cities like Vancouver and Toronto – it has jumped considerably (up 41%) since the same time a year earlier.

Newfoundland and Labrador

In St. John's, like some other cities in Canada's eastern provinces, mortgage qualification feels a little more attainable.

That's because the income needed to qualify for a mortgage remains within the five-figure range, at around $76,867 as of 2022.

While it's certainly not the highest figure on this list, it's another example of a significant increase over a short period of time. A year earlier, those hoping to get a mortgage in St. John's needed to earn just $59,753.

Nova Scotia

"The more challenging conditions aren’t limited to Canada’s most expensive markets," RBC notes.

While Halifax has traditionally been a more affordable market, compared with its provincial capital counterparts, buyers here are facing the biggest increases when it comes to required incomes for mortgages.

Towards the end of 2021, buyers in Halifax needed to earn around $81,125 to qualify for a mortgage. A year later, this jumped by 44% to $116,415.


Those hoping to get a mortgage in Ontario will have to earn a six-figure income if they want to buy a home in cities like Toronto, or even Ottawa.

To qualify to lend money to buy a home in Canada's capital, you'll need a pre-tax income of at least $148,970 – up from $116,506 the year before.

While that can hardly be described as affordable, it's a whole lot worse just a few hours away in Toronto.

In the 6ix, you'll need a salary of at least $240,470 to qualify for a mortgage from most banks, according to RBC, a figure that's up 29% from 2021.

"In other words, it’s Canadians in the upper income echelons who can afford an average home in these markets—especially so in Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria," the report says.


Recently ranked among the best places to live in Canada for affordability and job opportunities, Quebec is a province where the income required for a mortgage varies pretty significantly.

For example, those hoping to get a mortgage for a home in Montreal need an income of around $127,447.

On the other hand, those looking for the same in Quebec City can earn $80,894 and still be accepted for a mortgage.


Cheaper than the likes of B.C., Alberta and Ontario, but more expensive than Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick, Saskatchewan sits somewhere in the middle when it comes to affordability.

Buyers in Regina need an annual income of around $79,387 to stand a chance of getting approved for a mortgage, while those hoping to buy in Saskatoon need to earn approximately $89,304.

While these figures all sound pretty big, especially for those hoping to get onto the property ladder for the first time, it's not all bad news.

With the BoC suggesting that the most recent interest rate hike is the last of the cycle, more affordable housing options could be on the horizon.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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