A report says urban land use policies are making homes almost unaffordable in markets around the world including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

The Demographia International report looked at 272 metropolitan markets in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

The report says Vancouver is the most unaffordable market in the world when median housing sale values are compared to median household incomes.

It says Toronto is in the severely unaffordable category and Montreal is classified as being seriously unaffordable because of contraints on land use.

Wendell Cox, one of the authors, blames urban consolidation policies that restrict the development of suburban residential neighbourhoods for high housing prices.

Cox says governments should allow more housing to be built on the fringes of urban areas to help keep costs down.