Frontier Centre Releases 10th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Press Release, Housing Affordability, Frontier Centre

Today the Frontier Centre released the 10th Annual Demographia Housing Affordability Survey. The survey covers 360 metropolitan housing markets in Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and the United States, including 35 Canadian markets.

Housing markets are ranked by the ratio of median housing prices to median incomes (median multiple). A median multiple of under 3.0 is considered affordable, 3.0-4.0 moderately unaffordable, 4.1-5.0 seriously unaffordable, and over 5.1 is considered severely unaffordable.

Seven Canadian markets were considered affordable in the third quarter of 2013, seventeen were moderately unaffordable, six were seriously unaffordable, and five were severely unaffordable. No housing market of over one million was considered affordable. Montreal improved to severely unaffordable to seriously unaffordable, and Saskatoon improved from seriously unaffordable to moderately unaffordable. Notably, Kelowna fell from 6.9 to 5.9. Calgary held steady at 4.3 and Regina decreased to 3.6, while Edmonton edged up to 3.9, Winnipeg to 3.9, Ottawa to 3.8, and Toronto to 6.2. Vancouver  jumped from 9.5 to 10.3 – second worst in the English speaking world – and Victoria worsened from 6.3 to 6.9. Barrie and Oshawa slipped into seriously unaffordable territory, while Saguenay deteriorated to moderately unaffordable. Twenty-two markets saw deteriorating affordability, while four improved. The median multiple for median market in Canada was 3.9, up slightly from 3.6 in the third quarter of 2012.

Internationally, Canada maintained the third most affordable housing market, though declining affordability has brought the country into a near tie with Japan which sits at 4.0. Ireland has taken the lead in housing affordability, declining to 2.8, while the United States has fallen to second with a median multiple of 3.4, up from 3.1 in 2012.

About the authors:

Wendell Cox is a public policy consultant and principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris (a national university) from 2002. He is vice-president of CODATU, a Lyon (France) based international research organization dedicated to improving transport in developing world urban areas. He is a contributing editor at and author of the Evolving Urban Form series, which provides development profiles of individual world urban areas.

Hugh Pavletich operates the archival website Performance Urban Planning and is the Managing Director of Pavletich Properties Ltd, a commercial property development and investment company.

View the entire report here: