Home prices less affordable across Canada – especially B.C.

OTTAWA – British Columbia continues to be the least affordable area in Canada, but in 2010, Saskatoon overtook both Edmonton and Calgary in housing costs, while Montreal became less affordable than Toronto for the first time in years, according to a study released Tuesday by a Canadian think-tank.

Vancouver remains the least affordable metropolitan area in Canada, with the average home costing 9.5 times the average annual salary of its residents, according to the survey released by the Frontier Centre.

Saskatoon has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, and the city is now less affordable than both Edmonton and Calgary, the survey found.

Toronto, where housing had remained more costly than Montreal for decades, is now slightly more affordable, according to the survey. A home in Montreal costs 5.2 times the average annual salary of its residents, while in Toronto, a home will cost 5.1 times the yearly wage paid there.

Overall, homes in Canada cost 4.6 times the annual salary of Canadians, but there remain areas where homes are still affordable, most notably Atlantic Canada.

The average annual salary in Canada is just under $43,000, according to Statistics Canada.

The most affordable larger metropolitan centre in Canada is Windsor, Ont. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average home in Windsor was $164,123 in 2010.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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