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Vancouver housing ranked among world's least affordable

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Vancouver housing ranked among world's least affordable

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Six Canadian cities on an international survey are described as having severely unaffordable housing, with Vancouver listed as the second-most unaffordable in the world behind Hong Kong.

Demographia, a U.S.-based consultancy that focuses on urban planning issues, compiled a list comparing real estate affordability in 337 world cities based on what they call the "median multiple" — the number of times house prices are larger than average salaries.

"In affordable and normal housing markets, house prices do not exceed three times annual household incomes," the report reads. "If they do exceed this standard, it indicates that there are political and regulatory impediments to the supply of new housing that need to be dealt with."

Thirty-five Canadian cities were included in the ranking.

Overall, Canada's median multiple score came in at 3.6, up slightly from last year's 3.5 figure and enough to make Canadian real estate "moderately unaffordable," Demographia says.

All in all, Canada had eight affordable markets, 17 moderately unaffordable markets, four seriously unaffordable markets and six severely unaffordable markets. Those six are:

  • Toronto

  • Vancouver

  • Victoria

  • Montreal

  • Abbotsford, B.C.

  • Kelowna, B.C.

Across all the Canadian cities it tracked, Demographia found an average score of 4.7. That means that broadly speaking, home prices in Canada's 35 largest cities are 4.7 times larger than the average salary in those cities. The 4.7 figure is a deterioration from last year, when the Canadian figure was 4.5.

Demographia says that figure would have been higher were it not for a slowdown in Vancouver, with its "grossly overvalued market" resulting in a median multiple score drop from 10.6 to 9.5.

However, Vancouver's score was still high enough to rank it second overall on the list, behind Hong Kong. Sydney, Australia, was third internationally.

In addition to Vancouver, Canada's two largest metropolitan areas are reasons for concern, Demographia says. Toronto's score of 5.9 is up from 5.1 last year and two-thirds higher than 2004.

"Montreal continues to have severely unaffordable housing, with a median multiple of 5.2, and has recently adopted even more stringent urban containment regulation, could retard housing affordability even more in the future," the report reads.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/01/22/business-canada-housing.html

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It was kinda weird looking through rental postings in Japan and realizing that it was like 50% cheaper than Vancouver, lol.

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I cant wait until I graduate university at like 25, then have to work another at least another 5 years before I can even afford a townhouse or apartment.

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I cant wait until I graduate university at like 25, then have to work another at least another 5 years before I can even afford a townhouse or apartment.

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I was 29-30 when I bought my 1st place for 82,000 that was only in 99-00 put no money down. or very little. don't know how anyone can afford a place now.

I bought an apartment in 2005 at 25 years old for $155,000. Just got my yearly appraisal and it says it's worth $305,000 which is essentially double. Not a chance in hell I'd pay that much for this place. I am over contributing on my mortgage and I've calculated that I'll have this place paid off in 10 years (25 year mortgage paid off in 18 years). I'll probably have to live here the rest of my life or win the lotto to afford anything else.

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For those of you questioning Abbotsford, I'm wondering if by Vancouver they're including the GVRD and with Abby just outside it, it would make sense that it would have a similar affordability problem.

If that's not the case, why Abbotsford?

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For those of you questioning Abbotsford, I'm wondering if by Vancouver they're including the GVRD and with Abby just outside it, it would make sense that it would have a similar affordability problem.

If that's not the case, why Abbotsford?

I understand your reasoning, but wouldn't "just outside" Abbotsford be cheaper than inside it and thus reduce the average cost ?

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The prices in Vancouver are insane. And after growing up in the Valley, I wasn't about to pay a premium just to live a one-hour drive (if traffic is good...meaning 3:00am) from downtown Vancouver.

So I didn't bother. Instead moved to Calgary, a got a house on a double-lot (can be subdivided) in the inner-city for under 400K. Getting gas for under $1.00/L, single-malt scotches for under $50, and no HST/PST nonsense make it even more affordable.

Added bonus: Realized how much I like sunshine.

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I don't think the Vancouver area all that much more expensive than any other big Pacific coast city actually, when you compare apples to apples.

Where it fails is that the number of decently paying jobs is abnormally low and that lifestyle-wise, it doesn't have much positive to offer considering the expense and stress level.

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...and that lifestyle-wise, it doesn't have much positive to offer considering the expense and stress level.

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This study is majorly flawed. It is a comparison of median income to median housing pricing. However, it fails to take into account that people in Vancouver just don't properly report their income. This include:

1) People who make their money abroad. Vancouver has an exceptionally high proportion of people who own property here but earn income elsewhere.

2) People who make money illegally. BC has a massive drug industry. This income is not reported. Not only is BC a major producer of Marijuana, it's a port of entry and export for various international drug trades. Not to mention other big illegal businesses like human traficking, counterfeit goods, etc.. The BC marijuana industry is estimated to be in the nature of a $5-10 billion a year industry.

3) Virtually everyone in Vancouver who works in trades or owns a small business does not properly report their income.

My guess is the median houshold income in Vancouver is closer to 90k than the $62.3, this study claims.

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This study is majorly flawed. It is a comparison of median income to median housing pricing. However, it fails to take into account that people in Vancouver just don't properly report their income. This include:

1) People who make their money abroad. Vancouver has an exceptionally high proportion of people who own property here but earn income elsewhere.

2) People who make money illegally. BC has a massive drug industry. This income is not reported. Not only is BC a major producer of Marijuana, it's a port of entry and export for various international drug trades. Not to mention other big illegal businesses like human traficking, counterfeit goods, etc.. The BC marijuana industry is estimated to be in the nature of a $5-10 billion a year industry.

3) Virtually everyone in Vancouver who works in trades or owns a small business does not properly report their income.

My guess is the median houshold income in Vancouver is closer to 90k than the $62.3, this study claims.

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I bought an apartment in 2005 at 25 years old for $155,000. Just got my yearly appraisal and it says it's worth $305,000 which is essentially double. Not a chance in hell I'd pay that much for this place. I am over contributing on my mortgage and I've calculated that I'll have this place paid off in 10 years (25 year mortgage paid off in 18 years). I'll probably have to live here the rest of my life or win the lotto to afford anything else.

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Victoria, BC ... No surprise there. At least in Vancouver, you live in a world class city. Victoria is just garbage for the amount of money you pay.

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What lifestyle is that exactly? :lol:

As for the OP subject... This also just in:

Water is wet!

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This study is majorly flawed. It is a comparison of median income to median housing pricing. However, it fails to take into account that people in Vancouver just don't properly report their income. This include:

1) People who make their money abroad. Vancouver has an exceptionally high proportion of people who own property here but earn income elsewhere.

2) People who make money illegally. BC has a massive drug industry. This income is not reported. Not only is BC a major producer of Marijuana, it's a port of entry and export for various international drug trades. Not to mention other big illegal businesses like human traficking, counterfeit goods, etc.. The BC marijuana industry is estimated to be in the nature of a $5-10 billion a year industry.

3) Virtually everyone in Vancouver who works in trades or owns a small business does not properly report their income.

My guess is the median houshold income in Vancouver is closer to 90k than the $62.3, this study claims.

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The urban lifestyle, the kind of stuff you live in a big city for, it just doesn't do much of it very well, be it general nightlife, dining, events and happenings, service and selection, vibe, convenience, infrastructure, etc etc.

The old Vancouver (20+ years ago) stacked up a lot better, unfortunately if you don't have a time machine handy you're stuck with today's version.

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