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Toronto Named Second Least Affordable City in North America

Toronto is now less affordable than Los Angeles and New York City, according to Oxford’s recently-released North America Housing Affordability Index.

Vancouver, Toronto, and Hamilton are the least affordable cities in North America, said the new research report.

“Of the 25 North American metros for which we’ve built HAIs, Toronto, Vancouver (BC), Hamilton (Ontario), San Jose (CA), and Los Angeles are North America’s five least affordable metros,” write Oxford researchers in the firm’s latest report.

“Conversely, Chicago, Columbus (OH), Quebec City, Atlanta, and Raleigh (NC) are the five most affordable.”

Oxford Economics used new North America Housing Affordability Indices (HAIs) for 25 cities in the continent. The report compares whether the median income household in a city can afford the median-priced home.

Affordability will fall in both Canada and the U.S. over 2021 and 2022, Oxford predicts.

The National HAI for the U.S. reached 0.66 in Q1 of 2021, which means that the median single-family home price in America was 34 percent lower than what a median-income household could afford.

Canada’s national HAI, meanwhile, was found to be 1.34 in the first quarter of this year, meaning a home was 34 percent more expensive than what the median-income household could afford.

“Unaffordability is a persistent issue in Toronto and Vancouver, and the recent price surge has served to exacerbate this more than a decade-old trend,” reads the report.

“Hamilton and Ottawa have joined the ranks of Canada’s least affordable metros, while homes in the Prairies and Quebec remain within reach of local households.”

While Oxford predicts that affordable housing will become increasingly hard to find in both countries, the economics firm states that “housing is, and will remain, much more affordable in the U.S. than in Canada.”

“Canadian housing affordability has worsened considerably over the past decade, not only in Toronto and Vancouver, but also in several smaller metros,” reads the report.

“In Ontario’s major metros, affordability has worsened considerably over the past decade. Toronto’s index reached an all-time high of 1.53 in Q1 2021, while Hamilton, a smaller nearby metro, saw its index jump to 1.5 in Q1 2021, putting it among Canada’s most unaffordable metros.”

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