The financial feasibility of a home is about more than just the price, and for a region to be considered affordable, home prices must also be in line with incomes earned by local residents.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case in any of Metro Vancouver’s municipalities.
According to data compiled by Zoocasa this week, there isn’t a single market across Metro Vancouver where a household earning the median income can afford a detached house – and only seven markets where they could purchase an apartment.
To assess affordability, Zoocasa analyzed the benchmark detached house and apartment prices, and the minimum income required to purchase and carry the property, in 21 markets.
The required income was compared to the actual median household incomes in each region, which were sourced from Statistics Canada, to highlight the income gap that exists between current home values and incomes.
For detached houses, the income gap is staggering, even in the most affordable Metro Vancouver markets. A Maple Ridge household earning the median income of $86,178 would still be $35,602 short for a detached house purchase. In Metro Vancouver’s most expensive market, Vancouver West, this gap is $384,965.
Those buying an apartment on a median income have some options. In Port Coquitlam, the benchmark apartment is $471,700, which requires an income of $69,782, which is $14,368 lower than the actual median household income of $84,096.
In North Surrey, the benchmark price is $433,100, which requires a minimum income of $64,463, which is $13,031 below the actual median income of $77,494.
Benchmark apartment and detached house prices were sourced from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for August 2018.
The income required to afford a benchmark detached home assumes a 20% down payment and heating costs of $100/month. The income required to afford an apartment assumes a 20% down payment, heating costs of $50/month and condo fees of $250/month.
Benchmark Price: $3,278,500
Minimum Required Income: $450,292
Actual Median Income: $65,327
Income Gap: $384,965
Benchmark Price: $2,832,600
Minimum Required Income: $389,468
Actual Median Income: $89,808
Income Gap: $299,660
Benchmark Price: $1,669,900
Minimum Required Income: $230,866
Actual Median Income: $57,779
Income Gap: $173,087
Benchmark Price: $1,649,700
Minimum Required Income: $228,110
Actual Median Income: $67,119
Income Gap: $160,991
Benchmark Price: $1,621,000
Minimum Required Income: $224,195
Actual Median Income: $64,737
Income Gap: $159,458