Analysis uses the gap between the required income to buy a home and actual wages earned

A new study from Canadian real estate firm Zoocasa has found that there isn’t a single market across Metro Vancouver where a household earning the median income can afford homes for sale.

The report used benchmark detached houses and apartment prices, as well as Statistics Canada data, to identify a massive gap between average incomes and housing prices.

The comparison isn’t bleak just for those seeking houses, either; of the 21 markets studied, there were only seven where those with median incomes could afford a strata apartment.

In the study, the income required to afford a benchmark detached home assumes a 20-percent down payment and heating costs of $100 a month. The income required to afford an apartment assumes a 20-percent down payment, heating costs of $50 a month and condo fees of $250 a month.

Here’s how various Metro Vancouver regions fared:

Top five least affordable markets for detached homes

1 – Vancouver West

Benchmark Price: $3,278,500

Minimum Required Income: $450,292

Actual Median Income: $65,327

Income Gap: $384,965

2 – West Vancouver

Benchmark Price: $2,832,600

Minimum Required Income: $389,468

Actual Median Income: $89,808

Income Gap: $299,660

3 – Richmond

Benchmark Price: $1,669,900

Minimum Required Income: $230,866

Actual Median Income: $57,779

Income Gap: $173,087

4 – North Vancouver

Benchmark Price: $1,649,700

Minimum Required Income: $228,110

Actual Median Income: $67,119

Income Gap: $160,991

5 – Burnaby South

Benchmark Price: $1,621,000

Minimum Required Income: $224,195

Actual Median Income: $64,737

Income Gap: $159,458

Top five most affordable markets for detached homes

1 – Maple Ridge

Benchmark Price: $870,200


Minimum Required Income: $121,780

Actual Median Income: $86,178

Income Gap: $35,602 

2 – North Delta

Benchmark Price: $949,900


Minimum Required Income: $132,652

Actual Median Income: $92,300

Income Gap: $40,352

3 – Pitt Meadows

Benchmark Price: $941,500


Minimum Required Income: $131,506

Actual Median Income: $86,912

Income Gap: $44,594

4 – Bowen Island

Benchmark Price: $984,800


Minimum Required Income: $137,548

Actual Median Income: $89,856

Income Gap: $47,692

5 – Ladner

Benchmark Price: $1,010,200

Minimum Required Income: $140,877

Actual Median Income: $90,709

Income Gap: $50,168

Top five least affordable markets for apartments

1 – West Vancouver

Benchmark Price: $1,190,200

Minimum Required Income: $167,738

Actual Median Income: $89,808 Income Gap: $77,930

2 – Vancouver West

Benchmark Price: $825,000


Minimum Required Income: $117,922

Actual Median Income: $65,327

Income Gap: $52,292

3 – Burnaby East

Benchmark Price: $782,800


Minimum Required Income: $112,165

Actual Median Income: $64,737

Income Gap: $47,428

4 – Richmond

Benchmark Price: $685,500

Minimum Required Income: $98,892

Actual Median Income: $57,779

Income Gap: $41,113

5 – Burnaby South

Benchmark Price: $717,800


Minimum Required Income: $103,298

Actual Median Income: $64,737

Income Gap: $38,561

Top five most affordable markets for apartments

1 – Maple Ridge

Benchmark Price: $374,200

Minimum Required Income: $56,428

Actual Median Income: $86,178

Income Surplus: $29,750

2 – North Delta

Benchmark Price: $432,400

Minimum Required Income: $64,638

Actual Median Income: $92,300

Income Surplus: $27,662

3 – Ladner

Benchmark Price: $470,700

Minimum Required Income: $69,592

Actual Median Income: $90,709

Income Surplus: $21,117

4 – Port Coquitlam

Benchmark Price: $471,700

Minimum Required Income: $69,782

Actual Median Income: $84,096

Income Surplus: $14,361

5 – North Surrey

Benchmark Price: $433,100

Minimum Required Income: $64,463

Actual Median Income: $77,494

Income Surplus: $13,031