Toronto remains one of the most "severely unaffordable" cities in the world: report

Jan 22 2020, 9:27 am

Another day, another gloomy headline for Toronto’s housing market.

Demographia has just released its annual ‘Housing Affordability Survey‘ and has ranked Toronto as the sixth out of 309 urban markets around the world for unaffordability. This is up four spots from the year before.

The report measures middle-income housing affordability in 92 major metropolitan housing markets, which includes Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The report found that two of Canada’s six housing markets are “severely unaffordable” which include Toronto and Vancouver.

The least affordable market is Hong Kong, followed by Vancouver as the second least affordable major housing market.

Sydney ranks as third, followed by Melbourne at fourth and Los Angeles at fifth.

Toronto and Auckland are tied for the sixth least affordable housing market.

16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

According to the report, three of the seven markets rated by the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2018 as having the greatest bubble risk are included in the 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, each with severely unaffordable ratings.

This includes Toronto in second place, followed by Hong Kong in third, where it is tied with Amsterdam, and Vancouver in seventh.

16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

“Toronto also has severely unaffordable housing, with its Median Multiple deteriorating to 8.6 from 8.3 in 2018 and 3.9 in 2004 (the first Demographic International Housing Affordability Survey),” said the report.

“The 2019 UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index rates Toronto as having the second worst housing ‘bubble risk’ in the world (after Munich), worse than least affordable Hong Kong and second least affordable Vancouver.”

The report said that while the province of Ontario imposed a foreign buyers tax in 2017, the city’s house prices have become less volatile, “however, housing affordability in Toronto has continued to deteriorate at the middle of the market.”

And it’s not just within the city of Toronto.

Markets around the Greater Golden Horseshoe have also become severely unaffordable.

Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Oshawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines-Niagara, Barrie, Brantford, and London have all become unaffordable in recent years.

16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Demographia indicates that while there is an increase in apartment rental construction in Toronto, it is still unaffordable to lower-income households.

“Data in the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association indicated that there were more than 100,000 households on waiting lists in the Toronto metropolitan area,” it said.

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