Housing affordability in different areas

I recently received a copy of a report on housing affordability in different markets around the world which was quite interesting.

The report title is '16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Study: 2020', was published by Demographia and Performance Urban Planning ( and and was based on data from the 3rd quarter 2019.

Below is a summary of the most affordable and least affordable markets in different countries (the higher the number the least affordable it is.)


Most affordable:

1. Fort McMurray, AB

=2. Fredericton, NB

=2. Saint John, NB

4. Cape Breton, NS

Least affordable:

48. Victoria, BC

49. Toronto, BC

50. Vancouver, BC


Most affordable:

1. Falkirk

=2. Aberdeen

=2. Blackpool/Lancashire

=2. Dundee

=2. Sheffield/South Yorkshire

=2. Swansea

7. Glasgow

Least affordable:

31. London (Excl. Greater London Authority)

32. Bournemouth/Dorset

33. London (Greater London Authority) 


Most affordable:

1. Peoria, IL

=2. Rockford, IL

=2. Davenport, AI-AL

4. Utica-Rome, NY

Least affordable:

=183. Salinas, CA

=183. San Francisco, CA

=183. San Luis Obispo, CA

=183. Santa Cruz, CA

187. San Jose, CA

188. Los Angeles, CA

Worldwide the least affordable market was Hong Kong and the most affordable was Fort McMurray. However, before you rush out to the frozen north to buy a home it should be pointed out that the affordability is calculated by looking at the median house price and the median household income. So for Fort McMurray and Hong Kong the numbers are:

Fort McMurray:

Median Price: CAD$360,000

Median Household Income: CAD$196,900

Hong Kong:

Median Price: HK$7,040,000

Median Household Income: HK$338,000

So I am sure if you are reading this there is a good chance you are living on Vancouver Island and quite likely around the Nanaimo area so are probably wondering where Nanaimo sits in the affordablilty stakes for Canada. It came in quite high with a national rank of =45th (with Comox Valley) with a median price of CAD$513,000 and median household income of CAD$68,300.


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Ian Hodson
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