Calgary closing in on Vancouver and Toronto for title of wealthiest city

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary remain the wealthiest cities in the country but the gap between them in average household net worth is narrowing, according to data released Monday by Environics Analytics, a marketing services and data analytics company.

WealthScapes 2014, a database on the assets, liabilities and wealth of Canadians to December 2013, found that the average household net worth in Vancouver was $710,095 followed by Toronto at $693,652 and Calgary at $680,377.

“But the difference in affluence is getting smaller as the net worth in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary grew by 6.5 per cent, 8.8 per cent, and 10.8 per cent, respectively, compared to 2012,” it said. “While increases in liquid asset and debt were similar among the three cities, the key differentiator was real estate values — up a modest 2.8 per cent in Vancouver, a strong 6.6 per cent in Toronto and roaring 9.1 per cent in Calgary.

“Vancouver continues to reign as Canada’s wealthiest city because of its pricey real estate — averaging $579,250 per household compared to $535,002 in Toronto and $485,364 in Calgary. Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, benefitted from a 6.1 per cent rise in savings — nearly triple the national average — and a 3.7 percent decline in consumer debt — which is a significant drop given that nationwide consumer debt remained essentially unchanged. And in addition to its healthy real estate performance, Calgary benefitted from a 2.9 per cent decline in consumer debt; those two indicators ranked among the best for large cities.”

The database found that net worth for Canadians in general was up 7.7 percent over the previous year to $442,130, consumer debt was flat and real estate performed more predictably compared to recent years — increasing a solid six per cent over 2012. In a release, it said the data revealed that not only are the rich (the top fifth of the populace) getting richer — their net worth increased 8.1 per cent over the previous year — but the poor (the bottom fifth) are feeling more flush too, with their net worth rising 8.7 per cent.

The three wealthiest provinces at the end of 2012 retained their top status at the end of 2013 – British Columbia with a net worth of $591,047); Alberta at $531,067 and Ontario at $523,969).

“Third-ranked Alberta had a good year — its net worth grew by 10.0 per cent — and it leap-frogged Ontario in the standings, becoming the second wealthiest province in Canada,” said Environics Analytics.


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