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Vancouver has second-most unaffordable housing in the world

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s the kind of study that makes you think about packing up your stuff and moving to Detroit.

Demographia has ranked Vancouver as the second-most unaffordable place to live in the world. The survey takes into account the median house price in 337 markets and compares it to the median household income of the people who live in those markets.

Demographia Principal Wendell Cox says homes should cost roughly three times what people make. In Vancouver, they cost 9.5 times as much.

“It’s absolutely terrible,” he says. “I realize that none of us, including me, thinks that Dallas-Ft. Worth is a prettier place than Vancouver. But let me tell you that in Dallas-Ft. Worth, which is one of the fastest-growing large metropolitan areas, median house prices are in the neighbourhood of $100,000 to $150,000.”

Cox notes sky-high housing prices can do a lot of damage to a region’s economy. “What happens when you spend more than necessary on your mortgage is that you have less to spend elsewhere.”

“That means that fewer jobs are created in manufacturing and services across Canada and across the United States.”

Only Hong Kong is worse, when it comes to affordability; homes there cost more than $3.8 million, which is 13.5 times the median income of $282,000.

Sydney, Australia is the third-most unaffordable city. San Jose and San Francisco round out the top five.

Detroit, Michigan is the most affordable; a house there costs about $75,000 and the median income is just under $50,000.

A portion of the results of an international study conducted by Demographia