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Real Estate Trends

Vancouver Housing Second-Least Affordable in World: Report

By Jan 20, 2015

Real estate in Vancouver is the second least affordable of all the metropolitan markets in the world, according to the 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2015, released January 20.

The demographic statistics group reported that the city “retained its longstanding record among the worst markets for housing affordability” with a median house price to average income ratio that ranks second only to Hong Kong.

Demographia ranks each city on what it calls a median multiple, which is a ratio of average household income to median house price. It says a rating of 5.1 or higher is “severely unaffordable” while 3.0 and under is affordable.

Demographia said the city has a median home price of $704,800 and a median household income of $66,400.

Vancouver's rating of 10.6 is way beyond the "severely unaffordable" mark – but considerably lower than Hong Kong's 17.0.

Demographia affordability table

The report adds, "Vancouver's median multiple increased from 10.3 in 2013 to 10.6 in 2014. This represents a doubling from the 1st Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey."

Victoria, Kelowna and the Fraser Valley were also rated "severely unaffordable" by the survey.

San Francisco, San Jose and Sydney all have higher median home prices than Vancouver, according to the report, but also higher average household incomes.

Hong Kong was given an average home price of $4,892,000 – but a household income average of $287,000.

The study says Canada's overall housing market has been rated “seriously unaffordable” with a rating of 4.3.

Countries included in the study included Australia, Canada, the territory of Hong Kong in China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

However, developed countries such as France, Germany and Russia were not included in the survey.

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