Vancouverites Spending Up to 80% of Income on Housing Costs

With Vancouver and the GTA leading the pack, housing costs are taking up an increasingly large segment of Canadians' spending
Andrea Nazarian
August 23, 2017

The costs of homeownership in Vancouver can total as much as 79% of typical household income, according to the latest RBC Affordability Index – far greater than the 30% maximum recommended by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Using the Index, Ratehub created a housing affordability map for major cities across Canada, and calculated the national average. The map was created by examining utilities, mortgage payments and property taxes in each major city to calculate the percentage of pre-tax income Canadians are spending on housing. 

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RateHub Housing Affordability


Not surprisingly, residents of Vancouver and the GTA took to the top two spots, with home ownership costs making up 79.7% and 72% of incomes respectively. Both cities rank more than 20% higher than the national average calculated by RateHub of 45.9%. 

RateHub co-founder James Laird explained that other factors must be considered when examining affordability in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets. 

"People buying in these geographies cannot only be relying on their income to pay for these homes," Laird said. "Many of them are relying on existing wealth that was not earned in the most recent tax year." 

Of the 12 cities examined in the report, Regina, Saskatchewan, St. John, New Brunswick and St. John's, Nova Scotia were the only three in which home ownership costs made up under 30% of tyical incomes. 

Andrea Nazarian
Andrea is the Content and Social Media Specialist at Andrea has over five years of multi-industry experience in communications and content marketing. Originally from Toronto, Andrea moved to Vancouver in April 2016 and has been loving the West Coast life ever since.