Condos, New Housing Forms, Langley the Only Options for Future Buyers: Vancity

Joannah Connolly
March 25, 2015

If residential real estate prices in Vancouver continue to rise on their current trajectory, the average home will cost $2.1 million by 2030, according to a Vancity report published March 25.

Downsizing the Canadian Dream: Homeownership Realities for Millennials and Beyond says that owning a property in the city will cost 108 per cent of the average household’s monthly income in 2030, up from the current 48 per cent. That compares with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) guidelines that say housing costs should not be more than 32 per cent of gross monthly income.

However the report adds that homeownership is still within reach of most, if buyers adjust their expectations of owning a detached home and turn to condos instead.

It points out that since 2005, Vancouver condo prices have only increased 43 per cent, while the average property value has increased by more than 126 per cent.

“While the affordability of detached homes is moving further and further out of the reach of the average household, condominiums will become a more common and desirable way to achieve the dream of property ownership,” says the report.

The report also observes that such starter homes will increasingly become "forever" homes, with condo buyers unable to move up to single-family properties as the price gap widens.

For those buyers looking for more space, they had better get in on the action quickly, with currently affordable markets Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows and Port Coquitlam projected to see a ripple effect and become increasingly less affordable. Only Langley is forecast to still be affordable in 2030, with average property values projected to remain stable at $525,000.

Vancity calls on municipal, provincial and federal government to implement affordable housing plans, change zoning to allow for increased density and improve urban and suburban transit systems.

The report also gives recommendations to prospective homebuyers, suggesting that they should adapt to the new normal, consider smaller homes and embrace new forms of multi-family living and owning arrangements, such as housing co-operatives, co-housing, co-ownership and intergenerational community living.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.