Image: Entheos_fog via Flickr
Yesterday CTV reported that for the first time the average selling price of a single detached house in Metro Vancouver (west of the Fraser Valley, because well that place is a relative bargain) was just over a $1 MILLION! Basically, first time home buyers who have no desire to go to the dreaded valley (raises hand) are pretty much out of luck. However, for $500,000 you can get a decent 750 to 900 sq foot condo downtown, an option many first time homebuyers are looking at.
Moreover, the average price of a single detached home in Vancouver city proper is $800,000. That would buy you a McMansion in Surrey’s most prestigious neighbourhood, in Vancouver that will probably get you a decent home in the East Side and maybe a small chunk of land on the west side. Conclusion, look for heavy gentrification of East Van and South Van in the coming decades, a good and bad thing, I suppose it all depends on how much character is retained and how much money you have.
Furthermore, when you combine the killer housing prices with this generations piss poor savings habits, you can pretty much say goodbye to owning a home in Vancity and come to terms with having to move to somewhere south of the Fraser River (excluding Richmond and probably south Delta). The mere thought of that has made me a great saver and investor the last five years.
According to recent reports, house prices have gone up 23% since bottoming out during the recession. Blame the Olympics (word on the street is that many millionaires came to the city during the games and plunked down cash to buy $1 million condos as second homes), blame the weather or blame peoples desire to live in Vancouver. Anyway you slice it, you will be paying a lot to live in Vancouver. Perhaps, the increase in borrowing costs and tightening of lending practices will slow this market down. Then again, the Vancouver housing market is an enigma, so who the hell really knows.
Personally, I plan on buying a condo, then upgrading in 5 years to townhouse or detached home somewhere in East Van. What about you?