This Canadian city is the world's most affordable housing market

by Steve Randall23 Jan 2020

The Canadian oilsands city of Fort McMurray has topped a ranking of the world’s most affordable housing markets.

The Albertan city leads affordability in the 2020 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey which rates middle-income housing affordability using the “Median Multiple,” which is the median house price divided by the median household income; a score of 2 would mean it takes twice the median income to afford a median-priced home.

Fort McMurray with a median multiple of 1.8 ranks highly following economic disruption in recent years as oil prices and investment have tumbled. Two New Brunswick markets also make the top 10 for affordability, Fredericton and Saint John, both have a median multiple of 2.4.

Overall, the United States has the most affordable major housing markets with a nationwide median multiple of 3.9 followed by Canada at 4.4. For individual city markets with a score of 3 or less, the US has the top 10 major markets.

Among the other markets included, the UK and Singapore each have a median multiple of 4.6, Australia 6.9, and China-Hong Kong an eyewatering 20.8.

Among the 79 severely unaffordable markets (score of 5.1 or above), most are in the United States (29), Canada (18) and Australia (14).

These include Toronto with a median multiple of 8.9 and is the 7th least affordable overall, up from 15th last year to become less affordable that cities such as San Francisco and London (UK). Vancouver has a median multiple of 12.6.

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