Canada has four of the 10 most affordable and four of the least affordable cities in North America
Vancouver has been a presence on various lists of least-affordable housing for years, and now tops a survey released this month by Oxford Economics considering North America’s most expensive cities.
The group’s Housing Affordability Indices report concludes that “affordability deteriorated in nearly all U.S. and Canadian metros” in the second quarter of 2021. A typical Canadian house price hit 35 per cent above the borrowing capacity of median-income households , and in fact, results show a “ more rapidly worsening affordability in Canada than in the U.S.,” Oxford says.
While the U.K.-based economics group expects Canadian house prices to stabilize, it expects rising mortgage rates to continue to challenge affordability. Though the housing market has cooled somewhat, supply is tight — listings in the Toronto area were down 34 per cent from September 2020 and down 29.5 per cent in Vancouver — contributing to historic high prices.
Oxford’s Canadian Housing Affordability Index (based on 0.9 to 1.1 being affordable) rose by five points in the second quarter, from 1.30 to 1.35 — and by 10 points in the past year. The survey shows that eight of nine Canadian metros for which Oxford constructed indexes saw affordability worsen, led by Vancouver (up 6 points), followed by Montreal (up 5), Toronto (up 5), Ottawa (up 4), and Hamilton, Ont. (up 3). Though Montreal experienced increased unaffordability, it does not rank in the Top 10 cities.
Oxford sees its national index for Canada increasing another 10 points to 1.45 by the second quarter of 2022.
These are the individual cities’ house September statistics, garnered from various realtor organizations: