I Live In The Most Expensive City In Canada

The most telling way to look at house prices in any particular area is to compare them with local incomes. Divide the median house price by the median family income and you find the number of years of a local family’s income required to buy a typical house. This doesn’t mean that you can actually buy a house in that number of years — some of your money must go for groceries, transportation and so on — but the number does indicate how expensive a typical family will find home prices to be.

For example, the less expensive city in Canada is Timmins, Ontario. The median price for a single-family detached house is just $55,000.00 and the median household income $56,781.00. That’s right. In Timmins, a year’s income would not only pay for a house, but leave you with a bit left over for paint and wallpaper.

At the other end of the house-affordability spectrum is a cluster of British Columbia communities. The most expensive being, you guess it, Vancouver. The average price of a detached house is Vancouver is $699,000.00 and the median household income is $57,926.00. It would take more than 12 years of saving every penny of the median household income to buy a midrange house. If that doesn’t impress you, consider this: three out of every 10 homes in Vancouver are now listed for more than a million dollars. Even in Toronto, another notably expensive city, the median price for a single-family detached house was only 5.3 times the median household income.

Damn, if I go to Timmins, ON, I can buy a house for cash!


3 thoughts on “I Live In The Most Expensive City In Canada”

  1. Paul says:

    Consider that the reason that house prices have fallen in Timmins is that it’s a mining town (and has been for over 100 years), and the old 1900-era mines weren’t properly sealed when they were abandoned… so entire neighborhoods are now being threatened by sinkholes the size of a medium lake. No wonder the owners are desperate to get anything and get out before their houses fall into the hole(s).

    If you wanted an actually nice house, you’d be looking at paying between $120k and $150k.

  2. Robert Bircher says:

    I think John makes a good point,Vancouver,where I live, is a great place to live in many ways but the recent astronomical increase in prices has many young people heading west to places like Saskatoon or smaller prairie cities where they can afford a nice house.At current prices the average person has no realistic hope of ever owning their own home here unless they have been in the market for a while.In addition, it is incredibly risky to buy here now since the market has hit an affordability wall, meaning prices have nowhere to go but down.Many people under 35 have never seen real estate go down in value and falsely believe it never will.As many readers know the US market has begun the inevitable correction meaning Canada will not be far behind. At this point,if you want to own real estate, a good strategy is reconsider how important it is to stay in Vancouver or to wait to see how much prices fall.

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