Four in Ten Renters are Overspending on Housing in Canada

Renters report spending more of their income on housing than homeowners do: Survey

Toronto, ON (June 11, 2019) – Canadians are devoting hefty chunks of their income to housing according to a recent survey conducted by Among renters, 44 percent of Canadians report that more than a third of their income goes to putting a roof over their head, while 15 percent hand over half of their income to a landlord each month. In comparison, 20 percent of homeowners are allocating more than a third of their earnings on their home.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests households should spend less than one third of their income on housing – any more than that is a stretch to the family budget.

“If renting is the best option for a household, Canadians could save hundreds of dollars by shopping around for better deals on their other household expenses, helping to offset the impact of rent on a budget,” said Jacob Black from

Start by utilizing comparison sites to find better rates on car and renter’s insurance, find lower-interest credit cards, and roll high interest debt into consolidated debt payments. These are all ways Canadians can put money back in their pocket.

“This survey highlights that Canadians would benefit from setting a realistic budget for their housing expenses and how vital it is to shop around for the best mortgage rates to help lower costs and maximize purchase power, which is easy and convenient to do online,” said Black.

Four in Ten Renters are Overspending on Housing in Canada: 44% spend more on rental housing than they can afford (

Four in ten renters are overspending on housing in Canada: 44% spend more on rental housing than they can afford (

Regional Breakdowns

Overspending on housing seems the most prevalent in Toronto, where 34 percent of respondents report carving off more than one third of their income to pay for a roof over their head. This is followed by Montreal at 33 percent, and Vancouver at 30 percent.

On the other hand, Edmonton (29 percent), Calgary (27 percent), and Ottawa (22 percent), are the cities where fewest Canadians spend more than one third of their income on housing.

Buying a home means spending more per month

Two thirds of those surveyed said they intend to purchase a new home in the near future. Among those, 40 percent of renters report they’ll need to use more than one third of their income to afford a suitable home, while 27 percent of homeowners still expect to pay more than what they are already spending towards that purchase.

For example, in Toronto 44 percent say they’ll need to spend more for their next home, while in Vancouver only 23 percent do.

Purchase Priorities

More than half of Canadians say location would be the primary motivation for spending more on housing, with other features like space, home features, and condo amenities coming in far behind.

Less than a fifth of respondents would be willing to spend more on condo amenities like a gymnasium, pool, garage or party room.

About the Survey

An online survey of 1508 Canadians was completed between May 10-13, 2019, using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


Launched in 2008, is Canada’s one-stop shop for the best rates on personal finance products, offering over 11 million Canadians the best mortgage rates, credit cards, bank accounts and GIC rates. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, is located at 360 Adelaide Street West, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, M5V 1R7


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