The skyline of downtown Vancouver

Vancouver world’s 2nd most unaffordable city; Victoria, Kelowna, Fraser Valley also knocked

B.C.'s busiest and biggest areas are among the world's most expensive housing markets, according to Demographia's 2015 survey

Vancouver is the second-most unaffordable city in the world to live in, according to a survey from Demographia.

B.C.’s biggest city – “where housing affordability has been steadily worsening” the report says – was ranked as by far Canada’s most expensive city, second globally among major metropolitan areas to only Hong Kong, China.

Two Australian cities placed in the top 10, Sydney at third and Melbourne sixth. Californian cities San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles also placed near the top, along with London, England (seventh) and Auckland, New Zealand (ninth).

But other areas in the province – Victoria, Kelowna, and the Fraser Valley – were also rated ‘several unaffordable’ by the survey.

Read: Demographia’s 11th Annual International Housing Affordability Survey: 2015

2014 marks the 11th year Demographia has conducted and published their study, which measures housing affordability across ‘metropolitan markets’ in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Demographia rates each metro area on a scale called a ‘median multiple’ – a rating of 5.1 or higher is ‘severely unaffordable’, while 3.0 and under is ‘affordable’. The study says Canada’s overall housing market has been rated ‘seriously unaffordable’ with a, overall rating of 4.3.

Vancouver’s rating was 10.6 – much higher than the survey’s top threshold, but also far below Hong Kong’s 17.0.

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

The California cities (San Jose and San Francisco) and Sydney have higher median home prices, the survey says, but higher household incomes, as well. Hong Kong was given an average home price of $4,892,000 – but a household income average of $287,000.

Other B.C. regions like Victoria (6.9), Kelowna (6.4), and the Fraser Valley/Abbotsford (6.1) were given a ‘several unaffordable’ rating. Toronto was the third worst in Canada with a Demographia rating of 6.5.

The country’s Atlantic cities were ranked as Canada’s most affordable – Moncton, New Brunswick had a low rating of 2.2, Saint John and Fredericton had a 2.5, Windsor, Ontario had a 2.8 and Charlottetown, PEI had a 2.9.

Of the 14 most affordable major metropolitan housing markets around the world, all of them were in the United States.

Detroit, Michigan was the world’s most affordable major metro area (2.1), followed by Rochester, New York (2.4) and Buffalo and Cleveland, Ohio (2.6).

PHOTOS: World’s Most Unaffordable Housing Markets (according to Demographia)

1. Hong Kong – 17.0

Hong Kong harbour

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author WiNG)

2. Vancouver, B.C. – 10.6

Vancouver BC

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Kaveh)

3. Sydney, Australia – 9.8

Sydney

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Adam.J.W.C.)

4. San Francisco, California – 9.2

San Francisco California

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Urban)

4. San Jose, California – 9.2

San Jose California

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Sanjosecalifornia)

6. Melbourne, Australia – 8.7

Melbourne

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Donaldytong)

7. London, England – 8.5

London England

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Dickbauch)

8. San Diego, California – 8.3

San Diego California

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Sanbec)

9. Auckland, New Zealand – 8.2

Auckland NZ

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author ChewyPineapple)

10. Los Angeles, California – 8.0

Los Angeles California

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Myriam Thyes)

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