Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Aric Jenkins
November 10, 2017
Getty Images

It’s no secret that housing prices have skyrocketed in New York City and San Francisco — they consistently rank as the most expensive real estate in the U.S. But the most expensive housing on the continent is actually north of the boarder.

The International Housing Affordability Survey, a new study conducted by real estate website Point2Homes, says that Vancouver is the least affordable housing market among the 50 most populous cities in North America. According to the study, the median home sale price in the Canadian city exceeds $1.1 million, while the median family income is just under $64,000, creating an unbalanced financial situation for many residents.

While San Francisco and Manhattan’s real estate prices top Vancouver’s — with a median selling price of $1,275,000 and $1,207,500 respectively — people who live there also tend to make more money. Manhattan’s median family income is $77,559, and residents of San Francisco on average earn the most in the U.S. with a median income of just over $94,000.

That leaves Manhattan with a median multiple — the ratio of median house price and median gross annual household income — of 15.6 and San Francisco with one of 13.8. Vancouver’s tops the chart at 17.8. “Essentially, the higher this ratio is, the more time it takes to pay off your house, and the wider the affordability gap in the housing market,” the study says.

A key reason for Vancouver’s disparity is thought to be foreign investors, who have fueled the city’s house prices, according to a New York Times article cited by the study.

Other expensive markets listed in the top 10 of the study include Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Boston and San Jose. But there is hope elsewhere for prospective homeowners. According to the study, Detroit has the best median multiple among North America’s 50 most populous cities at just 1.8. Canadians should look to Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Edmonton with ratios hovering around 3.5.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST