Comparison of space versus cost of condos in major global cities casts doubt over claims Vancouver is near top of unaffordability rankings
A study of the per-square-foot cost of condos in major cities across the globe suggests that Vancouver is far from one of the three most expensive cities to buy a home in, despite popular local opinion and other affordability studies.
Most affordability comparison reports have looked only at average home prices, not taking into account the amount of space you get for your money in each city, and the fact that condo dwellers in cities such as Hong Kong, London, Paris and New York are accustomed to living in much smaller spaces than in Vancouver.The research,
by Toronto-based Condos.ca,
compares 18 global centres for real estate in terms of how much a buyer pays per square foot of condo unit, on average.It found that Vancouver condos cost an average of CAD$900 per square foot (highlighted in the above graph in red by REW.ca). This is still undeniably pricey, coming to an average of $540,000 for a 600-square-foot unit, but relatively good value compared with the seven priciest cities in the study.According to the report, the city where average condo space costs the most is Hong Kong, at $3,086 per square foot, which comes to an average price tag of $1.85 million for a 600-square-foot unit.Hong Kong is followed by London, at $2,732 per square foot, or $1.64 million for a 600-square-foot unit.The other five cities in the top seven are New York, Singapore, Paris, Geneva and finally Mumbai, where each square foot of condo space costs $1,208.Vancouver is next in line after Mumbai, with its $900-per-square-foot price tag coming in eighth place of the 18 cities surveyed. Toronto came in 16th, at $518 per square foot.Furthermore, average prices (in any city surveyed) are skewed upwards by very high prices of luxury condos at the top end of the market – so even though Vancouver’s average condo price may be $900 per square foot, that figure is likely to be considerably higher than the typical or median price for a resale starter unit in the city.