How Affordable is Vancouver Real Estate?

(February 25, 2015, posted in Vancouver Real Estate)

Some say Vancouver is unaffordable.  With the average annual income sitting around $70K and the typical price for attached housing at more than half a million dollars, how are we affording to live here?  In five of the six municipalities detached homes have exceeded the $1 million median - this is true in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, the Westside and recently Burnaby, Richmond and the East Side of Vancouver joined the group.
Despite the ever-increasing property values  in this city, buying activity has only increased and this Spring is proving to be a hot Seller's market even before the cherry trees blossomed.  

Here's a quick look at the demographics of Buyers in our city and how some of them break down the costs of living here:

1. Affluent immigrants are a big part of population growth in Metro Vancouver - most prefer to own their home. 
2. Interest rates are low, bringing an influx of first-time buyers ready to break into the market.
3. Many Lower Mainlanders have owned their properties for a long time and today have minimal mortgages with considerable equity.
4. Vancouverites have become really good  at making compromises, opting for condos in the suburbs and living small - it is not uncommon to have a family with two young kids living in a 900SqFt condo. 
5. Many others adapt by getting creative - basement suites, carriage / laneway homes provide extra rental income or allow for two - three generations of family to share the same property and expenses. 

Bank of Canada Interest Rates are currently at .75% with Prime at 2.85% 
Bank of Canada will make its next announcement on March 3rd.  

Overall, it is a Seller's market with an average 30% sales ratio throughout the city. Detached homes are selling for 99% of their asking price within 10 days on the market. Attached homes are also selling within 97% of asking and selling on average within 34 days on the market. 

If you've had a place on the market for a while and it isn't selling, the question to ask yourself is whether or not the price is right. Both in Vancouver West and Vancouver East we have seen up to a 9% increase in activity over this time last year. It is without a doubt a good time to sell and almost always, a better time to buy. 

For a full report on how Vancouver's Real Estate Market fits into the global perspective, please email me. Report will be coming out in March 2015.