Top 10 Canadian cities with most mortgage-free homeowners

New study sheds light on regional trends

Top 10 Canadian cities with most mortgage-free homeowners

A recent Statistics Canada study has revealed the areas across the country with the highest percentages of mortgage-free homeowners, with Thunder Bay, Ontario leading the way.

The analysis, conducted by Casivoo using data from StatCan, examined private households and their mortgage statuses across the country. The rankings were determined by the percentage of homeowners without a mortgage in each area.

In Thunder Bay, 47% of homeowners (or 17,745 out of 37,700 households) are mortgage-free, the highest rate among major Canadian cities and towns.

Ontario cities dominated the top rankings. Peterborough came second at 45.2% mortgage-free homeowners, while St. Catharines-Niagara followed closely behind in third place at 43.5%. Of its 126,980 homeowners, 55,275 in this region have no outstanding mortgage.

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Out west, Victoria (43.2%) and Nanaimo (42%) represented as the British Columbia cities with the most mortgage-free residents, ranking 4th and tied for 7th respectively.

Other Ontario localities making the top ten included Windsor (5th at 42.8%), Belleville-Quinte West (6th at 42.3%), Kingston (tied 7th at 42%), Greater Sudbury (9th at 41.1%) and Barrie (12th at 31.8%).

Kelowna, BC ranked 8th with 41.3% mortgage-free homeowners, while Quebec's Trois-Rivières ranked 10th with a 40.9% rate.

"It's interesting to see that several areas within Ontario dominate the top ten rankings," a Casivoo spokesperson said in a statement. "The locations in the lead ranking are perhaps more attractive to older homeowners who are more likely to have paid off their mortgage, hence why we are seeing the higher rates. It’ll be interesting to see if new regions enter the top 10 in the future."

The study utilized 2021 data from Statistics Canada, analyzing private households categorized by mortgage status, including owners with and without mortgages, renters, and subsidized housing.

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