Vancouver ranked 3rd least affordable housing market in the world: survey

The view from Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Patrick King

Vancouver is now the third least affordable housing market in the world, only behind Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia.

According to Demographia’s new International Housing Affordability survey that looked at 367 markets around the world, Vancouver was more expensive than major metropolitan markets including San Francisco and London. Overall, it’s the third least affordable in the world, according to the survey.

In Vancouver, the survey quotes the median house price as $756,200, compared to a median household income of $69,700, resulting in a “median multiple” of 10.8.

The “median multiple” measurement is a ratio of a median house price to gross annual median household income.

A median multiple of 5.1 or greater indicates the market is “severely unaffordable.”

Hong Kong’s median multiple of 19.0 was the highest recorded (least affordable) in the 12 years of the Demographia survey.

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Sydney was the second least affordable major market, with a median multiple of 12.2. Sydney saw the highest spike in median multiple scores ever recorded by the survey with an increase of 2.4 points from 9.8 in 2014.

READ MORE: 2016 property assessment numbers in B.C. are released

Vancouver’s middle-income housing affordability deteriorated slightly from 2014, when its median multiple was 10.6.

Nonetheless, the surveys says, it has been predicted that Vancouver’s house prices could rise much higher.

As in 2014, four of the five least affordable metropolitan markets in Canada were in British Columbia.

Vancouver was the least affordable, followed by Victoria, the Fraser Valley and Kelowna. Toronto ranked third least affordable out of all markets in Canada, which was rated “moderately unaffordable” overall.

Least Affordable Major Metropolitan Markets

1.Hong Kong, China

2. Sydney, Australia

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Melbourne, Australia

4. Auckland, New Zealand

4. San Jose, USA

7. San Francisco, USA

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8. London,UK

9. Los Angeles, USA

9. San Diego, USA

All of the top 10 most affordable major cities in the world were in the United States.

10 Affordable Major Metropolitan Markets

1. Buffalo, USA

1. Cincinnati, USA

1. Cleveland, USA

1. Rochester, USA

5. Pittsburgh, USA

6. Detroit, USA

6. Grand Rapids, USA

6. Oklahoma City, USA

6. Saint Louis, USA

10. Columbus, USA

The report also quotes the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index ranking London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver as most vulnerable to risk from a real estate bubble.

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