The popularity of Vancouver comes with a price, and a lofty one at that. In 2006, Vancouver ranked the 56th most expensive city to live among 144 major cities in the world, and the 2nd most expensive in Canada (after Toronto). Vancouver has the highest housing prices in Canada.
A recent survey comparing median house prices to median incomes found Vancouver was the most unaffordable city for housing in Canada -- and the fifteenth worst in the world! It can be noted that the city has been working on several strategies to reduce housing costs. Thus, as with many other cities in North America, homelessness is a concern, as is the growing gap between rich and poor.
If you look at the number of luxury vehicles on the streets, coupled with the selling price of homes (median house price $638,000, 1st Quarter 2006 - in Toronto, house prices average $416,000), you may think the city’s residents are affluent. However, with a median household income of only C$56,000, this perception is opposite of how most Vancouverites actually fare. The Downtown Eastside district of Vancouver is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada, and is located only six to ten blocks from the expensive downtown "instant neighborhoods" of Coal Harbour and Yaletown