Condo vs. House: Vancouver Real Estate Market

Home ownership in Vancouver has been a hot discussion topic for some time now, as the city’s housing affordability has slowly but surely spiralled out of reach for many buyers. A growing number of sources are positing that real estate in Metro Vancouver is now accessible only to the wealthy: a recent RBC study revealed that the average resident would need to shell out more than 88% of their annual income to afford a home.

In a runaway market such as this one, navigating the housing situation takes skill, and it’s important to understand the basics of where you might have a fighting chance of landing yourself a house or condo.  

A quick look at this map is a great way to visualize the market’s broad strokes for detached homes specifically: Vancouver West and its environs are entirely off limits for a majority of buyers, with the average house in these sought-after areas going for anywhere between $1.6 million and over $3 million, depending on the specific location.  

To purchase a home in West Vancouver, for example, you’d need to be earning nearly $390,000 annually – however, Statistics Canada lists the median income in this neighbourhood to be just under $90,000.  

Meanwhile, homes in suburbs like Langley, Port Coquitlam, and North Surrey won’t run you much more than $1 million (if that) – but that doesn’t mean there’s no income gap to contend with in these locations. You’ll find the absolute cheapest houses (and the lowest income discrepancy) in Maple Ridge, but the annual salary needed to buy a home versus the median income in the area still differs by $35,602.

Condos, of course, are less expensive on the whole, though you could easily end up paying between $800,000 and $1 million if you’re in the downtown core. Once again, Maple Ridge came out on top as the most affordable place to purchase, with the average condo going for just under $375,000. In this neighbourhood, as well as others like North Delta, North Surrey, Port Coquitlam, and Tsawwassen, the income required to afford a condo was actually lowerthan the median salary in the area.

This marks a huge difference between the house and condo markets in Vancouver: although both are among the most expensive in the nation, those that are willing to purchase a condo outside the city centre have the opportunity to choose a neighbourhood where their dollar can go quite far. For detached houses, however, not one area in the entire city of Vancouver saw the median local home buyer earning enough money to comfortably afford this type of purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *