Vancouver ranked dead last for housing affordability amongst North American cities

Oct 25 2021, 8:18 pm

Yet another report has ranked Vancouver dead last amongst major North American urban centres regarding housing affordability, providing an analysis of how conditions have further deteriorated.

Based on the data, during the second quarter of 2021, Oxford Economics’ latest housing affordability report shows that Vancouver beats 29 other analyzed major cities in North America when it comes to poor housing affordability conditions.

The analysis’ ranking is determined by calculations in the housing affordability indices (HAI), with Vancouver’s HAI of 1.71 the highest amongst all cities, representing a 3.4% quarter-over-quarter increase and a 5% year-over-year increase. HAI is based on how home price inflation relates to income.

Furthermore, a 6% increase in the HAI for Vancouver is forecasted between the second quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022.

oxford economics housing affordability

House prices moved further out of reach for Canadian households in Q2 2021. Assumes 20% downpayment on a home purchase price, 25% mortgage payment-to-income ratio, 5-year mortgage rate, and 30-year amortization period. (Oxford Economics/Haver Analytics)

oxford economics housing affordability

Vancouver is the most unaffordable Canadian city, while Quebec City is the most affordable. (Oxford Economics/Haver Analytics)

Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa ranked third, fifth, and ninth, respectively, for housing unaffordability, while cities like Seattle, Montreal, and New York City hovered in the middle of the ranking between the most unaffordable and most affordable extremes.

Four Canadian cities made it to the top 10 most affordable ranking, including Quebec City, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary.

oxford economics housing affordability

Housing has been persistently more out of reach in Canada than the US. (Oxford Economics/Haver Analytics)

Across Canada, home prices were 35% above median income households’ borrowing capacity, with eight of the nine cities experiencing worsening affordability over the quarter.

Housing is more affordable in US cities than in Canada, with affordability expected to worsen more quickly in Canada than in the US due to higher Canadian mortgage rates.

Top 10 least affordable housing markets, Q2 2021

  1. Vancouver
  2. Boise
  3. Toronto
  4. Portland
  5. Hamilton
  6. Las Vegas
  7. San Jose
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Ottawa
  10. Tampa

Top 10 most affordable housing markets, Q2 2021

  1. Chicago
  2. Quebec City
  3. Columbus
  4. Edmonton
  5. Atlanta
  6. Winnipeg
  7. Raleigh
  8. Dallas
  9. Calgary
  10. Nashville

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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