Reality Bites

Reality Bites

Growing up in Vancouver, it is not a shock to see housing prices as they are, yet the saying "reality bites" seems to play in my head.  Surrounded by people who have moved to Vancouver from other cities and countries, I constantly seem to be in a dialogue regarding housing prices in Vancouver and I seem to be losing ground~ quite literally.

What I find sad, is that young, well-educated, hard-working Vancouverites, are unable to afford their own home.  If they do take the plunge, they often find themselves in over-their-head, with mortgages they can`t handle for the long haul.

There is going to have to be some kind of change before the city loses its own people.

Homes seen as affordable on the East side, are now part of the geography where only those with hefty down payments and/or help from Ma and Pa need apply.

Fifty-four per cent of single-family detached properties in the City of Vancouver were assessed at $1-million or greater on July 1, 2012. This value used to be only seen on the West side but now you are seeing this in pockets on the East side too.  Only four years ago, 34 per cent of detached homes had assessments of $1-million or higher.

The harsh reality is that it is highly unlikely that those who grew up in Vancouver will ever be able to afford to live in Vancouver unless there is a shift in the options for housing.   

The good news (to some) is that In the recent past, there has been pressure to create more affordable housing.

Thank god people are starting to see that bigger isn`t always better.  I, for one, hope to see a decline in the "monster houses" (all house and no lot left at the end of the day).  

The City of Vancouver has been trying to introduce multifamily units where single-family lots used to be.  Many people are opposed to added density but as I see it, it is inevitable.   In May, Vancouver city council approved new zoning rules for the Norquay neighbourhood on the East side. It’s an experiment that hopefully will lead to rezoning in other areas of Vancouver.  It stipulates that builders are able to group at least two, single-family, side-by-side lots, and then go through the process of a development permit application in order to create multi-family housing.

The cold hard truth is that without change, it will take large inheritances or winning the lottery, for my generation to be able to buy a Vancouver single-family detached home on their own.  Sad but true.

Taryn Brown

Taryn Brown

CENTURY 21 In Town Realty
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