CALGARY — Calgary's housing market was rated as "moderately unaffordable" by an international survey released Monday that also shows Vancouver as the second least affordable in the world.
The Eighth Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which covers 325 global metropolitan markets, ranks affordability around the world.
Its method divides the median house price by gross (before tax) annual median household income to rate housing affordability. The survey is as of the third quarter of 2011.
Calgary's median multiple was 3.9, ranking it 206 out of the 325 markets covering Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Vancouver was rated 324th with a median multiple of 10.6, behind Hong Kong's 12.6.
In Canada, the following markets were ranked less affordable than Calgary: Abbotsford, 7.0; Victoria, 6.8; Kelowna, 6.6; Toronto, 5.5; Montreal, 5.1; Hamilton, 4.2; Sherbrooke, 4.0; and Saskatoon, 4.0.
"Housing affordability in Calgary has been favourable compared to other regions in Canada," said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. "Economic activity in Calgary has been supporting employment and earnings growth."
Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC Economics, said Calgary shows up very well in the bank's affordability measures compared with other large Canadian housing markets.
"We consider Calgary as one of the most affordable ones," he said.
"The decline in prices in 2007, 2008, around that time relative to continued income growth in Alberta has helped improve affordability."
The Demographia international survey said markets with median multiples of 3.0 and under are described as affordable. Those 3.1 to 4.0 are moderately unaffordable. Those from 4.1 to 5.0 are seriously unaffordable. And those from 5.1 and over are severely unaffordable.
Canadian housing affordability rankings in 325 international markets:
(Ranking, city, median multiple, median house price, median household income)
324. Vancouver; 10.6; $678,500; $63,800
313. Abbotsford; 7.0; $443,700; $63,000
309. Victoria; 6.8; $417,300; $61,600
303. Kelowna; 6.6; $385,100; $58,100
276. Toronto; 5.5; $406,400; $73,600
255. Montreal; 5.1; $281,700; $54,700
221. Hamilton; 4.2; $292,700; $69,000
208. Sherbrooke; 4.0; $192,200; $48,200
208. Saskatoon; 4.0; $274,700; $68,300
206. Calgary; 3.9; $353,700; $91,400
Note: Median multiple is median house price divided by gross annual median household income.
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Study+finds+Calgary+homes+expensive/6036994/story.html#ixzz1kPM3DjxG