Study finds property in Kelowna 'severely unaffordable'

Kelowna remains one of the least affordable places to buy a house in the world, according the latest Demographia International study of housing cost.

The study compared the median price of a house with the median gross household income in 360 cities in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as Hong Kong and Singapore.

It found that Kelowna ranks as the 316th least affordable city studied and 31st least affordable of 33 cities looked at in Canada. All the cities included had metropolitan populations of over 100,000.

According to the study, it requires 5.9 times the median gross household income here to buy a house, a rating classified by Demographia as “severely unaffordable.”

In Canada, only Vancouver, second overall world-wide to Hong Kong with a whopping 10.9 times the median gross household income required, and Victoria (6.9 times) have a higher “median multiples” to Kelowna, which is tied with the Fraser Valley at 5.9 times.

“Like Vancouver, house prices in these (other B.C.) markets have been driven extraordinarily higher relative to incomes by urban containment regulations,” says the report.

The report lists the median house price here at $372,200 and the median gross household income at $62,900.

Canada’s most affordable market in 2013 was Moncton, New Brunswick where it required just 2.3 times the median gross household income to buy a home, followed by Fredericton, New Brunswick (2.6 times) and Windsor, Ontario (2.7 times).

Kelowna’s ranking has not changed much since 2010 when it was listed as the 38th least affordable place in the world and in the top five in Canada.

It’s inclusion on the list first made headlines in 2008, when Kelowna, in the middle of a property price boom at the time, was listed as 13th most unaffordable place in the world, followed by a 19th place finish in 2009.

The 2008 report listed the median price of a house here at $446,300.

This year’s report cites a Deutsch Bank report that says overall Canada’s housing is currently the most overvalued among 20 OECD nations.


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