The Median Multiple Affordability Standard: Historically, the Median Multiple has been remarkably similar among six of the nations surveyed for the stock of homes included in principal national reports. As Anthony Richards of the Reserve Bank of Australia has shown, the price to income ratio was at or below 3.0 in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States until the late 1980s or late 1990s, depending on the nation.5 This historic affordability relationship of a Median Multiple in the range of from 2.0 to 3.0, with 3.0 as the outer bound of affordability continues in many housing markets of the United States and Canada.
Historically, the Median Multiple has been remarkably similar in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, with median house prices having generally been from 2.0 to 3.0 times median household incomes (historical data has not been identified for Hong Kong), with 3.0 being the outer bound of affordability.
Canada: Housing in Canada is moderately unaffordable with a Median Multiple of 4.6 in major metropolitan markets and 3.4 overall. Housing was generally affordable in Canada as late as 2000. In the early years of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Canada was generally the most affordable nation. However, this year, Canada ranks third, behind the United States and Ireland.
Among major markets, four were moderately unaffordable and two were severely unaffordable. Among all markets, 9 were affordable, 17 were moderately unaffordable, 3 were seriously unaffordable and 6 were severely unaffordable. The four most unaffordable metropolitan markets were in British Columbia.
For metropolitan areas to rate as 'affordable' and ensure that housing bubbles are not triggered, housing prices should not exceed three times gross annual household income. To allow this to occur, new starter housing of an acceptable quality to the purchasers with associated commercial and industrial development, must be allowed to be provided on the urban fringes at 2.5 times the gross annual household income of that urban market. The fringe is the only supply or inflation vent of an urban market.
Here is what the "median house price" will get you in Saskatoon
A 896 sq ft bungalow built in 1931 on 7th street with some updates.
A 826 sq ft modern revenue property built in 2006 on Avenue I on a 25 ft wide lot with two suites, basement one is not legal.
A 816 sq ft bungalow built in 1973 on Birch crescent with a few upgrades.