Soaring real estate prices have made Vancouver the wealthiest city in Canada.
A new report on household wealth by Environics Analytics found that – while Vancouver households may earn less than the Canadian average – the city is Canada’s first “millionaire city.”
The average net worth (the total value of a household’s assets, minus the debt) in Vancouver is $1.023 million – a figure that’s up 7 per cent in a year.
Toronto, which is also known for its sky-high real estate prices, replaces Calgary as the country’s second-wealthiest city, with an average net worth of $962, 993. This figure increased 3.4 per cent in a year.
In once-booming Calgary, net worth fell 2.5 per cent in the past year to $898,240, putting it in fourth place behind Victoria, B.C. ($912,362).
Despite its rep for being “rough around the edges,” Oshawa residents are getting richer the fastest.
The Toronto suburb saw average net worth jump 9.2 per cent in a year, to $714,040. This may be in part thanks to its flourishing auto industry.
As for the country as a whole, household net worth grew 4.3 per cent in a year, to an average of $680,098.
But don’t get too excited – debt grew almost as quickly.
Across the country, debt rose 4.1 per cent to an average of $130,170 per household.
Not surprisingly, mortgage debt accounts for the bulk of that figure.
“While debt levels have continued to grow, total interest payments have declined relative to incomes,” said Environics VP of Economic Data Peter Miron. “The spectre of higher interest rates, which could make these debt loads untenable, has simply not materialized yet.”
The growth in real estate price benefitted Canada’s wealthiest families the most, whole pension growth contributed the most to the increase of wealth of middle-income Canadians. When it comes to the nation’s poorest, increased savings helped raise their wealth.