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Changing Patterns in Canadian Homeownership and Shelter Costs, 2006 Census: Geographical differences

British Columbia

The census counted 1,643,150 households in British Columbia in 2006, of which 69.7% owned the dwelling they lived in. This was up from 66.3% five years earlier.

The proportion of owner households that had a mortgage rose in British Columbia. In 2006, 57.6% of owner households in British Columbia had a mortgage, up from 55.5% five years earlier. The national average was 57.9%.

If they had sold their home in 2006, the median price that British Columbia homeowners expected to receive was $349,353, far above the national median of $200,474. This median increased 75.0% between 2001 and 2006, compared with the national average increase of 49.3%.

Between 2001 and 2006, consumer prices in British Columbia, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by 10.8%.

The proportion of households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter was well above the national average of 24.9%. In 2006, about 29.1% of households spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, up from 28.6% five years earlier.

The increasing percentage of households spending above the threshold was concentrated among owner households. For them, the percentage spending 30% or more of their income on shelter rose from 20.7% to 22.8%. For renters, this percentage declined from 44.1% to 43.7%.

The census counted 817,225 households in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver. Of these, close to two-thirds (65.1%) owned their accommodation and 34.9% rented it.

Nearly one-third (32.9%) of households in Vancouver spent 30% or more of their income on shelter. After Toronto, this was the second highest proportion among all census metropolitan areas. In 2006, 27.1% of homeowners spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, as did 43.8% of renters.

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