How can a young couple buy a modest one-bedroom unit in Vancouver?
How do they find a condo with the right mix of amenities?
A young couple can buy a home with the same level of amenities that they might find in other Canadian cities, but the difference is they won’t have to worry about living in the city.
They will just have to make do with the neighbourhood.
“It’s like you can’t get into a city,” says Rachel Pascalis, president of the Downtown Vancouver Association.
“In Vancouver, you’re not allowed to live in the CBD.”
The problem is, Vancouverites don’t want to live there.
“Vancouverites are very conservative, very conservative about their values, about their lifestyle,” says Pascals.
“We’re not going to do anything that would be considered ‘crazy’ for a city that’s been so well-respected.”
And she’s not alone.
The Canadian Association of Realtors has warned that Vancouver’s condo market is “in trouble.”
The city’s condo boom has created an unhealthful housing market, says a new report from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
And with the market so saturated, it’s causing more condo sales than condo construction, says the report, called The City That Failed.
In Vancouver, condos are now the most popular type of home purchase, with a median value of $1.2 million.
“There’s been this kind of demand out there, and it’s just been too much for the city to handle,” says Ben Van Gorder, an associate professor at Sauder’s Sauders School of Management.
The city has been able to control some of the demand by providing incentives for condo owners to buy them, but it’s still a challenging market.
Vancouver’s condos are becoming increasingly rare, but developers have found a way to keep prices up.
“They have to have a lot of people in the market, so they have to compete with people who are buying a condo for the same price,” says Van Gordering.
“And they have all the incentives to compete against those people.”
The shortage of new condo construction means the market isn’t fully functioning.
The average condo price in the City of Vancouver is currently about $1 million, according to the city’s latest condo sales report.
That’s a lot less than it was a decade ago, when condos were becoming more common in Vancouver.
But that’s a big problem for developers.
The condo boom means that prices are up, meaning there’s less supply.
And developers aren’t making money selling condos.
“The average condo developer’s profits are lower than they were 20 years ago,” says the City’s Van Gorders.
That means that developers are selling condos that are already underused.
That can hurt the bottom line for developers, since the condo market’s not generating enough revenue for the developer to pay rent.
Developers are also concerned about the quality of their condos, because they’re being squeezed by higher prices.
And it’s making condo developers pay more for their units, because there’s not enough demand for the units in the first place.
The housing market’s got a serious problem, says Pescalis.
It’s “kind of like a ballooning balloon,” she says.
“You’re not able to get down in the bottom and see the real estate bottom, because you can only see the top.”
That’s not good for the market.
It means that condo owners are being squeezed even more, and there’s no money to help them.
And the condo boom is making it harder for Vancouverites to buy more housing.
“Right now, the average price of a condo is about $8 million, but that’s not sustainable,” says César Morales, vice president of residential research at Cushman & Wakefield.
“If there’s any kind of real estate bubble in Vancouver, we’re in for a long, long time.”
A condo in a condo market with limited supply is not ideal for Vancouver’s residents.
(CBC News) But Vancouver’s housing market is in serious trouble.
And there’s another issue: a shortage of homes for people to buy.
A lot of new homes are going to be built, but there are still too few homes for rental.
In fact, the city already has fewer rental units than it did in 2016.
And that means there’s a shortage, says Morales.
“That’s going to create a serious housing crisis.”
The City of Toronto has set up a task force to help solve the problem.
But it’s not making any progress.
Toronto’s condo sales have been growing for some time, but they’re now averaging about 30 per cent of what they were in 2016, says Councillor Josh Matlow, who represents the Ward 6 area.
Toronto has seen a lot more people moving to the City over the past few years, so that means they’re moving into