The skyline of downtown Vancouver

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)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Victoria police say the number of business break and enters in the city has been rising for the last four months. (Twitter/VicPD)
Business break and enters on the rise in Victoria

Sophisticated techniques used to defeat alarm systems, police say

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Most Read