Measuring Canada’s Housing Affordability Against the World

Blog, Housing Affordability, David Seymour

Today sees the release of the 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

Of note:

  • Vancouver is now the second hardest place to afford a house in the English speaking world, British Columbian markets are the least affordable in Canada;
  • Affordability has improved on the Prairies over the past several years, Saskatoon is the least affordable Prairie city;
  • Toronto continues to lose affordability, being described as Severely Unaffordable by international standards;
  • Windsor has the most affordable housing in Canada.

This year’s survey has an Introduction by Robert Bruegmann, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois and author of Sprawl: A compact history.

I think it is fair to say that a growing number of people who have looked at the figures have tended to agree that a good many well-meaning policies involving housing may be pushing up prices to such an extent that the negative side-effects are more harmful than the problems the policies were intended to correct. These observers have also noted that measures that restrict land supply, slow growth in the immediate area where the policies are in place and push up housing prices can be very attractive to individuals who already own their own homes.


Read the full report here.