Cost of home ownership in Vancouver is 'off the charts' says RBC

Sep 28 2018, 4:31 pm

Vancouver is already well-known as an expensive place to put down roots, but now, a new report released by RBC takes that common knowledge one step further, proclaiming that housing affordability in the city is now “off the charts.”

In the report, RBC said the aggregate measure it uses to gauge affordability in the city and across the nation is at a “never-before-seen level,” not only in BC – but in Canada.

In fact, RBC found that the share of household income needed to cover homeownership costs in Vancouver now sits at 88.4%.

“Buying a single-detached home is for the rich only (it would take almost 120% of a typical household’s income to cover ownership costs),” the report noted.

For those looking at getting into the condo market, the situation isn’t much better, and “settling for a condo also increasingly looks like a luxury for many.”

Worse, it added, “the situation is poised to deteriorate further as interest rates continue to rise.”

This week, the BC government announced it was capping the allowable rental increase for 2019 at 2.5% instead of the previously-announced 4.5%. An announcement that is not lost on those behind the report.

In light of their new figures, RBC says in the report that “rental housing will become the only viable option for a growing proportion of households.”

But still, “whether the record 8,100 rental units currently under construction will meet that demand is an open question.”

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Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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