Housing affordability weakest in B.C.: report

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This year’s Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey found that Vancouver is the world’s second most unaffordable housing market behind Hong Kong. In fact, of the five least affordable residential housing markets in Canada, four were found in British Columbia. Victoria, Kelowna and the Fraser Valley made the cut along with Toronto, Ont.

Demographia determines international housing affordability using median house prices and household incomes to generate a “Median Multiple.” This number is subsequently categorized as affordable (3.0 and under), moderately unaffordable (3.1 to 4.1), seriously unaffordable (4.1 to 5.0) or severely unaffordable (5.1 and over).

Vancouver received its worst affordability ranking (10.6) since the survey’s inception 11 years ago. Similarly, Toronto’s housing affordability continues to deteriorate with a Median Multiple of 6.5. The Ontario city has become over 65 per cent less affordable since the first Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey in 2004.

Comparatively, Canada’s most affordable markets in the report included, in descending order:

  • Moncton, N.B. (2.2);
  • Saint John, N.B. (2.5);
  • Fredericton, N.B. (2.5);
  • Windsor, Ont. (2.8); and
  • Charlottetown, P.E.I. (2.9).

The annual report surveys major property markets in Canada, the United States, Australia, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

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