Jan 2010 26

Vancouver Claims ‘unaffordable’ World Cities Tag

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Vancouver is one of the world's most "unaffordable" cities according to a recent survey.

In its sixth annual report published this week, Winnipeg-based think-tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy, said among 28 markets in Canada, Vancouver and Victoria take the top two spots, followed by Abbotsford and Kelowna. All four centres are considered "severely unaffordable."

The study examined 272 metropolitan markets in Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Vancouver topped all markets for lack of housing affordability, with Victoria ranked No. 8. 

Affordability was calculated by using the median house-sale value in the third quarter of 2009, divided by the median annual gross household income.

The "median multiple" for Canada came in at 3.7, up from 3.5 the previous year. A ranking of 3.0 or less is deemed to be affordable.

Overall, Canada falls within the "moderately unaffordable" group of 3.1 to 4.0. A "severely unaffordable" rating starts at 5.1. Vancouver is 9.3 and Victoria is at 7.9, up from 7.4 the previous year.

The average price of a single-family house in Greater Victoria last month was $651,316, with the median at $555,000. Condominiums had an average price of $345,907 and a median of $289,000, the Victoria Real Estate Board said.

Thunder Bay and Windsor, Ontario tied as the most affordable markets in Canada with a rating of 2.2.  

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