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It’s not just sky-high home prices that make Vancouver so unaffordable — it’s paltry wages, too

By Natalie Obiko Pearson for Financial Post

The average household in Vancouver earns the equivalent of US$61,036 a year — less than families in Nebraska, Missouri and rural Pennsylvania.

Want to pay San Francisco housing prices on a Columbus, Ohio income? Move to Vancouver.

While policymakers from Seattle to Boston lament a growing urban affordability crisis, a new study of home prices and earnings across more than 100 major U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas shows Vancouver in an ignominious class of its own.

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The median cost of a Vancouver home, adjusted for purchasing power parity, is US$672,000 — costly but still 15 per cent to 26 per cent below that of San Jose and San Francisco, the two most expensive housing markets, according to Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, whose study accounted for the difference in buying power of a dollar across geographies and currencies.

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