Victoria now part of ‘millionaires club’

The provincial capital joins Vancouver as one of only four cities in Canada with average net worth over $1 million.

A couple years ago Vancouver became the first Canadian city with an average household net worth of more than $1 million, but this year three other cities have joined the millionaires club — including Victoria.

With an average net worth of $1,055,468, Victoria is up 15 per cent over last year, due in large part to climbing real estate values.

According to the WealthScapes report by Environics Analytics, the figure is determined by looking at Canadians’ balance sheets as rising assets, pensions and real estate values all increased their net worth and modest borrowing kept their debt at a reasonable level — household net worth rose an average of 12 per cent, while household debt only grew 4.4 per cent.

Vancouver retains the top spot in this report and is closely followed by Toronto, Victoria and Calgary.

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Among the other fastest wealth growth cities in Canada are the Golden Horseshoe areas of Ontario: Oshawa, Hamilton and St. Catharine’s-Niagara.

“For the most part, 2016 was a good-news financial story,” says Peter Miron, vice president of demographic and economic data at EA and the lead developer of WealthScapes 2017.

“Strong performance in the stock market buoyed Canadian investments. The biggest housing markets experienced strong real estate appreciation. And many Canadians increased their saving rates. This is the wealthiest Canadians as a whole have ever been.”

The report also illustrates how roughly 22 per cent of Canadian households are found in neighbourhoods that have a net worth above $1 million, and the possibility of housing bubbles in Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria, due to the run up in prices.

In Victoria, the average real estate holding increased 19 per cent, to $669,814.

Data for the report came from the Bank of Canada, Equifax, Statistics Canada and The Teranet-National Bank Regional and Property Type Sub-Indices.


 

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ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

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