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House hunting Millennials in Vancouver may have to lower their expectations

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DH Vancouver Staff May 26, 2015 12:42 pm

Are you a first-time homebuyer? If so, how realistic are you about what you can afford?

Real Estate Consultant and architect Michael Geller says he sees millennials demanding luxury and convenience when that is simply not in the cards for many of them in Vancouver’s housing market.

“They eat in very, very nice restaurants, many of them have good jobs, and they don’t think they should be sharing an apartment or living in a neighbourhood that they don’t consider to be the most desirable,” he says.

“I speak to developers all the time and ask ‘why aren’t you putting in Arborite countertops and basic white appliances in homes appealing to first-time buyers?’ And they say ‘because they won’t buy it.'”

With fewer options and millennials unwilling to compromise, Geller said there are some inventive alternatives. A few years ago, he worked on a development that involved “co-mingling” units that have two master bedrooms and are designed to be purchased with a friend.

And if the idea of buying a condo with a friend doesn’t appeal to you, maybe you should consider moving into one of the outer lying cities.

“When you get out into the suburbs, in many of those places, the price of condominiums has dropped in the last five years, and yet, nobody’s even talking about that,” he says.

Geller cites Burnaby as an example, where he owns a condo and says it hasn’t appreciated much since he purchased it.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, apartment prices in Burnaby have shown only a slight incline in the last three years, and still hover around $10,000 cheaper than Vancouver.

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DH Vancouver Staff
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