Toronto ranked 4th least affordable housing market in North America

Jul 27 2018, 6:06 am

A recent study has declared Toronto as having the fourth most expensive housing market in North America, ranking next to cities like Los Angeles, San Jose, and Vancouver.

The study was performed by Professor Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Yan has spent an extensive amount of time working on non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

His specialties lie within the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, geographic information systems, and neighbourhood development.

The two data sources from the study stemmed from median household incomes and median housing values from the 2016 Census from both Statistics Canada and the US Census Bureau.

The report comments that incomes and housing values were adjusted using the purchasing power parity of Canada and the United States to allow for a much closer comparison – regardless of exchange rate.

The study focused specifically on metropolitan areas in both Canada and the United States with total populations of over 500,000 residents.

While drawing comparisons between the highest median housing prices in North America, Toronto clocked in at eighth highest on the list, the second most expensive Canadian city after Vancouver.

The median housing value for Toronto was listed at $647,648. The next closest Canadian city was Calgary, which revealed a startling difference of nearly $200,000. Calgary’s median housing value was $450,405 in the study.

When looking at where the city ranks in terms of median household income, the result is nothing more than average – nearly in the middle of the pack, in fact.

In a list of the top 51 metropolitan areas, average Toronto income listed in 32nd, with a higher income than Kitchener, Cambridge, Hamilton, and Vancouver, but still shockingly lower than Calgary and Edmonton.

The end result of his study, a “housing affordability index,” showed Toronto to have an affordability ratio of 8.3 – meaning that the median housing in Toronto is 8.3 times more than the average median income.

Livability in Toronto scores at a similar rate as Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Honolulu, cities that ranked within spots two to six of the study.

In comparison to other Canadian cities, Toronto seems to find a threshold of its own. Vancouver, BC ranked as the highest and least affordable city in the study, with an affordability score of 11.

The next highest ranking area was Hamilton, ON, where although median income isn’t very far off, housing is drastically cheaper.

Toronto’s affordability index scored one and a half as much as the national average, which was 4.9.

While the housing prices are a heavy toll on the younger generation, it’s even more difficult for those looking to start families.

Yan comments that the results aren’t just a question of demand and affordable housing, but it’s a question of economic development, transportation, and an interesting challenge for civic leaders.

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