A $150,000 income is not enough for a home in Vancouver: report

Nov 9 2018, 7:33 am

It’s no secret that real estate affordability continues to be a top concern in BC, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Canada’s priciest city of Vancouver.

And a new report from Zoocasa said this situation is made worse in the city, thanks to what it says is the huge gap between median income and median home prices.

It found that with homes in the city hovering around an average $1,196,000 price tag, the income required for those hoping to buy into the market is $161,193.

The catch? Median household incomes in the city are nowhere near that, clocking in at $65,327. Or, put another way, a “whopping” $97,866 short of affording the average home price.

But Vancouver is not alone.

Zoocasa said that in 16 out of the 20 markets it studied in British Columbia, “buyers do not earn enough to afford the average home.”

In fact, the report found that there are just four markets in the province where the average home price aligns with the median income in the region, with the northern interior city of  Prince George being the most affordable.

Highs and lows

The report noted that steep housing prices are also starting to be reflected in the province’s sales activity and price appreciation.

According to the latest numbers from the British Columbia Real Estate Association, sales have plummeted 33.2% from 2017, with the average price budging 1.1 per cent, to $685,749.

The total dollar value from sales also fell 34% – representing $2 billion – to $3.8 billion, a sharp contrast to the robust 30.2% increase recorded last year.

Zoocasa said much of this slowdown has been attributed to the federal mortgage stress test implemented in January, which requires mortgage borrowers to qualify at a rate roughly 2 per cent higher than their actual contract. That’s effectively slashed purchasing power among buyers, reducing the type and size of home they would now qualify for.

So what are the most – and least affordable – BC cities to buy a hime in? Zoocasa has broken it down.

Most affordable:

  1. Prince George
  2. Kamloops
  3. Campbell River
  4. Langford
  5. Penticton
  6. Nanaimo
  7. Abbotsford
  8. Langley
  9. Victoria
  10. Port Coquitlam

Least affordable:

  1. Vancouver
  2. Richmond
  3. Burnaby
  4. North Vancouver
  5. Coquitlam
  6. Surrey
  7. Port Moody
  8. North Delta
  9. New Westminster
  10. Maple Ridge
See also
DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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