Many reports suggest that we have the most expensive real estate in the world. How then do the residents cope? The studies generally compare the ratios of average or median family income with the ability to finance a detached home. With the average price over CDN $1 million, many cannot afford to buy a house, but they do have other options.
Family dynamics have changed over the last 20 years. Couples are getting married later in life, having less children, and needing less space. While a detached house may be desirable, a townhouse or an apartment may be more practical where prices are less and the upkeep of the exterior and common areas is maintained by monthly fees. In fact, according to the REBGV MLS® statistics, more than 50% of all sales are from town homes and apartment units.
Many Buyers are also having family help with the down payments and as guarantors for the mortgage, or finding homes with rental suites to offset some of the monthly debt. Those who already have bought can make the easier transition to move up with equity built up over the years and whose values also appreciated. First time buyers have more realistic expectations on what they can buy for their money. Buyers can sacrifice land and opt for less living space for proximity to the city or move to the suburbs and accept the commute.
The reality is that we are live in a beautiful place and everyone wants to be here. BC Stats projects in their PEOPLE 36 report that our province will gain another 1.6 million people in 25 years, by 2036. Real estate here is not going to get any more affordable.