Most Metro Vancouver homes ‘unaffordable’: report
Metro Vancouver report finds it would take income that tops more than half of B.C.’s households — and then some — to afford the majority of the region’s homes for sale. (FILE PHOTO)
The majority of the region’s prospective homebuyers would be hard-pressed to locate an “affordable” home given that more than a third of those being sold are out of reach, according to a Metro Vancouver report.
The report is a discussion paper for the regional affordable housing strategy and details a steady trend with increasingly fewer homes for those making less than $76,300 in annual household income.
In 2012, only 29% of home sales would be considered affordable — taking no more than 30% of income to support — for those in the low-to-middle range. At the time of the report, the average home price in the region was $590,800, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
According to the report, that means 71% of the region’s homes are exclusively affordable to those who make at least 20% more than half the regional population.
John Grasty, a realtor and housing advocate, said this reality is the reason many of the Lower Mainland’s young couples are living in multi-family dwellings and moving farther away.
“(This couple) from Kits, they got together and now they purchased a townhouse in Port Moody,” he said.
“Where they had been staying in Kits, they would have gotten a one-bedroom.”
According to the report, higher costs are now evident in the City of Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby. Affordable housing has moved to areas such as Surrey, Delta, Langley and Maple Ridge.
The report points out another solution may be to increase rental housing stock, and suggests there’s a total rental demand of 64,900 additional units over the next decade.
“I’ve seen people renting a house and sub-renting a basement so they can live in a detached home with a garden and have a dog that can run outside,” Grasty said.
Metro Vancouver staff pointed out some low-to-middle income earners have also moved to the Fraser Valley for cheaper homes.
According to data for that region, 42% of homes were considered “affordable” to someone making 120% of the median region income or less in 2012.