It's official - it costs a lot to put a roof over your head on the North Shore.
Perhaps not surprisingly, West Vancouver homeowners spend more money than their North Shore neighbours on rent or mortgage costs each month, according to a recent Statistics Canada report on shelter costs.
But nowhere on the North Shore was particularly cheap to live.
Residents in all three municipalities shelled out more for each month than the province-wide average of $1,156 for shelter costs. Shelter costs can include mortgage payments, electrical, heat or water bills, and property taxes to name a few. West Vancouver had
the highest shelter costs at an average of $1,787 monthly. Homeowners paid more than renters - forking over an average $1,849 per month. The District of North Vancouver followed close behind at $1,563 for average shelter costs. Again, homeowners paid more than renters at $1,631 per month. And those living in the City of North Vancouver paid an average monthly shelter cost of $1,288, with owners shelling out about $1,424 per month.
The figures come from a report of the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada, released earlier this month, which drew information from approximately 4.5 million households across Canada.
Nationwide about 3.3 million households, or a quarter of all households, spent 30 per cent or more of their household total income on shelter costs.
The percentage of residents paying a large chunk of their income toward shelter was much higher on the North Shore, however.
Residents in the City of North Vancouver spent the most out of their total monthly household income - almost 35 per cent - on shelter, with renters paying almost double what owners paid. West Vancouver households spent slightly less - an average of 32 per cent of their income went to housing costs. Renters paid much more - almost 55 per cent of their income went to housing. Households in the District of North Vancouver spent more than 28 per cent of their income on housing.
Renters in all three municipalities spent a greater percentage of their income than homeowners on housing costs each month.
Across the country, the survey found Canadian households that paid 30 per cent or more of their total income toward shelter costs had an average cost of more than $1,200, exceeding 30 per cent of their total household income by an average of more than $500 per month.
In terms of renting versus owning, home ownership was highest in the District of North Vancouver, with more than 81 per cent of its 30, 555 households living in homes they own.
The lowest rate of home ownership was in the City of North Vancouver, where about 54 per cent of its 22, 790 households owned their homes. West Vancouver, with 17, 075 households, had a home ownership rate of around 79 per cent.
Province-wide, about 70 per cent of residents owned their homes.
Across the province, more than seven per cent of households reported having dwellings that required major repairs, including anything from defective plumbing to structural repairs. On the North Shore, almost eight per cent of households in the City of North Vancouver reported living in homes that needed major repairs. Seven per cent of households in West Vancouver, and six per cent of households in the District of North Vancouver reported similar problems.
The City of North Vancouver had around 10 per cent of households living in dwellings that were unsuitable, or overcrowded, according to the National Occupancy Standard, surpassing the provincial average of almost seven per cent.
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