Do You Think We Pay to Much to Live Here?

You Get What You Pay For, Or Do You?

Vancouver Tops 2 Lists: Best Places to Live in the World, and Most Unaffordable Place to Live in the World  ~My Thoughts Below~

Global News broadcasted tonight on the six o'clock news that "Vancouver has become one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world, with Toronto and Montreal not far behind".

And that "Vancouver not only has the least affordable housing of 28 markets measured in Canada, but of 272 metropolitan markets ranked in Ireland, the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and Canada, according to statistics compiled by the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy. As Canada’s resale housing market boomed and prices rose in 2009, affordability fell, sending the national average to a reading of 3.7 from 3.5 the year before, the group said.

That would place Canada’s overall housing market in the “moderately unaffordable” category -- from 3.1 to 4.00.

The numbers are calculated by dividing the median (or middle) residential house sale price from the third quarter by median annual gross household income. In Vancouver, for example, a median home price of $540,900 was divided by median household income of $58,200 to create a multiple of 9.3. The group describes as “severely unaffordable” any reading of 5.1 and over.

Victoria was second only to Vancouver, with its reading rising from 7.4 to 7.0, while Ottawa’ hot housing market remained within the realm of the moderately unaffordable, at least as measured as part of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area, with a reading of 3.8, up from 3.4 the year before.

My Thoughts:

There is no doubt that Vancouver is not cheap to live in and that there are many other places across Canada and throughout the world that are much more affordable.

But what needs to be importantly noted is the fact that Vancouver is not cheap for a reason.  Why should it be? 

Vancouver is pricey to live in because of the lifestyle one gets to enjoy while living here. It has to do with supply and demand... if no one wanted to live here, if Vancouver had nothing to offer, then prices would reflect that.  We certainly pay a premium to live where we live and perhaps Vancouverites stretch themselves thinner than they should to get into this housing market, but, you get what you pay for.   

Vancouver is only minutes away from World Class Mountains, lakes, rivers and an ocean all of which provide Vancouver residents with an unlimited and unparalleled array of year round leisure activities to enjoy.  The city’s climate fluctuates only 35 degrees season to season and allows golf lovers to hit the greens 275 days a year comfortably.  

Vancouver is a big enough city to offer a large array of jobs and different opportunities for aspiring business professionals. It offers a real estate market that makes sense for both local and global investors. It is a busy, bustling and happening place to live...  yet, not too big to make it completely impersonal.  Vancouver is a friendly city thanks in part to an eclectic population from all over other parts of Canada and the World.  Its residents are eager to make new friends and network as few people who live in Vancouver were actually born here. 

So yes, Vancouver may be rated one of the most unaffordable places in the world to live... but for me, and apparently thousands of others, our money is well spent and invested in an amazing city.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wake up happy to live, work and play here.    

The study may be true... perhaps Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in the world..  But, in my opinion, it’s worth every penny to live here. 

Kelsie Struch

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