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B.C. city ranked as Canada’s third most expensive: study

B.C. is the least affordable province, says study into income and expenses
Victoria has been ranked the third most expensive place to live in Canada. Pictured is Victoria’s Inner Harbour. (Black Press Media file photo)

Several British Columbia cities have been ranked as the most expensive in Canada by a new study, with the capital being the country’s third costliest place to live.

Victoria was only behind first-place Vancouver and Toronto, the country’s most populated city, in Savvy New Canadians’ study into Canada’s most affordable places to live.

The rankings are based on a comparison between households’ median income and their expenses. That resulted in a cost-of-living index of 117.4 for Victoria – meaning B.C.’s capital is 17 per cent more expensive to live in than the average of 26 major Canadian cities included in the study.

Four B.C. cities made the most expensive list, while Ontario had five and Calgary rounded out the top 10. Nanaimo placed fifth on the most expensive list with a cost-of-living index of 108.6.

B.C. came in last on the list of most affordable places as the study found the average household’s estimated expenses in the province are just shy of $80,000. That resulted in an income-to-expense ratio of 1.23, which signifies British Columbians are left with less than their provincial counterparts after paying for their expenses.

Alberta was the only place where household expenses topped those of B.C., but the neighbouring province’s incomes are also about $10,000 higher.

“British Columbia is the least affordable Canadian province on this list, having the second-highest cost of living estimate,” the study said. “Buying a house in B.C. costs a fortune, as prices exceed the country’s average.”

Savvy New Canadians used the latest Statistics Canada data on median annual after-tax incomes and household spending.

READ: Approval, affordability shortcomings mark Victoria’s 2022 housing review

Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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