Women in BC face the most housing affordability challenges in the country: report

Photo: Adam Jones/Flickr

A new report has found BC women experience the most stress over housing prices and affordability in Canada.

In 2017, 86 per cent of women in BC responded that housing affordability was a problem where they live, compared to only 61 per cent of women in the rest of the country, according to the Vancity report titled Money Trouble.

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“This is a call to action, and time for everyone — women and men — to acknowledge that gender-based financial disparities remain a deeply-embedded reality in Canada, and especially in B.C.,” says Sophie Salcito, a Vancity wealth advisor.

Published on Wednesday — a day ahead of International Women’s Day — the report by the Canadian community credit union examines how financial health among women in BC continues to be challenged by gender disparities related to wages, career and housing. Data from the study is supported by the 2017 Canadian Financial Health Index study and national survey.

According to the report, 59 per cent of BC women are unsatisfied with their current financial situation, which Vancity says can be attributed to several factors.

“As the Canadian Financial Health Index study suggests, responsibility is shared by a host of local issues, including BC’s notoriously high housing costs, which eat into household finances,” reads the report.

With Metro Vancouver being Canada’s most expensive housing market, it’s no surprise affordability is a top concern for women and men living in the province. In February 2018, the benchmark price of a home in the region was $1,071,800 — a nearly 17 per cent increase from a year ago, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Last year, 90 per cent of BC women said their living costs had increased, compared to 83 per cent of women in the rest of Canada.

Meantime, 59 per cent of women in BC agreed they were not satisfied with their current financial situation — slightly higher than the national average for women (57 per cent) and six per cent higher than BC men.

When broken down into age groups, 92 per cent of BC women between the ages of 35 to 44 said housing affordability is a problem, compared to 70 per cent of BC women aged 65 to 70.

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