Vancouver ranks second most "severely unaffordable major housing market" in international study

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      Yet another international report has confirmed that Vancouver is among the least affordable cities to live in—and is also warning that housing affordability is worsening due to the pandemic.

      The Urban Reform Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy released the 2021 edition of the Demographia International Housing Affordability report.

      The report gauges affordability by measuring income in relation to housing prices, or the median multiple, in 92 major (metropolitan) markets in eight countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

      In the introduction to the report, the authors explain that a large number of buyers, particularly in suburbs and outlying areas, during the pandemic has decreased housing affordability and that low- to middle-income households will see further declines in standards of living.

      The study points out that remote working has heightened shifts to more affordable locations. 

      The report found that most severely unaffordable major housing market is Hong Kong (with a median multiple of 20.7), with Vancouver (13.0) coming in second.

      Sydney (11.8), Australia, and Auckland (10.0), New Zealand, followed, and Toronto (9.9) rounded out the top five spots.

      On February 11, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported that strong buyer demand has resulted in B.C. markets being "starved for supply" and are under "extraordinary pressure". Real estate boards in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley also reported record sales in 2020. 

      The full report can be found at the Urban Reform Institute website. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.