It's no mystery to people all around the world that the housing market in Vancouver has been a major issue for many. The state of the housing market in Vancouver isn't just noteworthy in Canada, but the whole world. Vancouver was even ranked in the top four cities for having one of the most riskiest housing markets in the whole world, with another city in Canada, Toronto, taking the lead.
If the house prices were high in Vancouver but the median income was also on par, then there would be less of a problem. Unfortunately, that is not the case, according to recent findings by Zoocasa. A home isn't unaffordable only because if its price, but also because the median incomes of residents are unable to keep up.
People are probably well aware that the median income in Vancouver does not necessarily match up with the prices of houses in the city. But to what extent exactly? Zoocasa has assembled new data regarding the housing cost and median income in Vancouver and the results demonstrate the insane magnitude of this disparity.
Zoocasa said that there is a "severe income gap across the Metro Vancouver region", based on findings from their data. Their research indicates there isn't even one neighbourhood in Vancouver where there is a notable gap between the house price and the median income.
And these discrepancies are not small – their data indicates that someone who is earning the median income pretty much has no possibility of affording a house if they're funding it with their salary. There were only seven neighbourhoods out of 21 where someone could purchase a strata apartment based on their median income: Maple Ridge, North Delta, North Surrey, Ladner, Port Coquitlam, Tsawwassen and Pitt Meadows.
They released an infographic outlining each neighbourhood, the benchmark house price from August 2018, and the minimum household salary needed to buy a house. As you can see based on the map below, it's currently pretty impossible for someone to buy a house in Metro Vancouver if they have the median salary. Zoocasa even calls the gap "staggering" and "gargantuan".
Check out the salary needed to buy a house in each Vancouver neighbourhood below:
Housing Markets in Metro Vancouver Neighbourhoods
The most expensive housing markets in Vancouver? To probably no one's surprise, it's Vancouver West, which includes neighbourhoods like downtown, Kitsilano, and the West End. Vancouver West takes the top spot as the most expensive market to buy a house in Metro Vancouver, holding a required salary of $450,292 and actual income gap of $384,965. It's also the second most expensive market to buy an apartment.
As for the most affordable (and that is a highly relative term here) area to buy a house or apartment in all of Metro Vancouver, Maple Ridge takes the win. But even then, despite being the most affordable region in the whole of the city, Maple Ridge still has a remarkable $35,602 income gap for houses and the salary required to buy a house is $121,780. Regarding apartments however, with a median income it is possible to buy an apartment in this area.
Another rather unsurprising finding: West Vancouver is the least affordable market for apartments in Vancouver and comes in second after Vancouver West for the most expensive market for houses, with a required income and actual income gap of $299,660 – meaning an income of $389,468 is needed. West Vancouver is known for being home to many luxury houses and mansions.
North Delta comes in second for the most affordable (again, relative term here) markets in Metro Vancouver for both houses and apartments. The median income in the neighbourhood is one of the highest in the city at $92,300 while the benchmark price for houses and apartments is one of the lowest. There is an income surplus of $27,662 for apartments and an income gap of $40,352 for houses.
Richmond takes the third spot for most unaffordable housing markets in Vancouver. The benchmark price for a house there is $1,669,900, which requires a minimum salary of $230,866. However, the actual median income in the area is $57,779, entailing an income gap of $173,087.
Burnaby South makes it into the top five for the most unaffordable markets in the city for both houses and apartments. The median income there is $64,737 against a benchmark price of $1,621,000 for a house and $717,800 for an apartment.
For more information on this study from Zoocasa and to see the full report, including the actual median household income per neighbourhood and the gaps between required and actual salary, check it out here.