January 28, 2024

Vancouver's Soul-Crushing Real Estate Market: Can You Afford a Home?

Vancouver's Soul-Crushing Real Estate Market: Can You Afford a Home?

Vancouver's real estate market is renowned for its stunning beauty and soaring property prices. However, behind the picturesque landscapes lies a harsh reality that has been crushing dreams and leaving aspiring homeowners in despair. In this eye-opening exploration, we'll delve into the soul-crushing truth about the average income required to purchase a home in Vancouver.

The answer to the affordability question in this city is dishearteningly clear—it's way above average. Vancouver takes the lead in Canada when it comes to the annual income needed to buy what defines as an average home. Over the course of just one year, the income required to purchase the average Vancouver home increased by a staggering $24,600. In January 2023, aspiring homeowners needed an income of $212,800, but by December of the same year, that number had skyrocketed to $237,400. aptly dubs Vancouver as the most challenging real estate market, and for good reason. In December 2023, the average prices for different home types in Vancouver painted a grim picture. Detached homes came with a hefty price tag of $1,964,400, marking a 7.7% annual increase but a slight 0.9% decrease from November 2023. Apartment homes weren't much more affordable, averaging at $751,300 with a 5.6% annual increase but a 1.5% drop from November 2023. These numbers were based on an 8.16% stress test rate and a mortgage rate of 6.16%.

The average income in Vancouver varies depending on the source. Zip Recruiter, a prominent job recruitment agency, reported an average salary of $69,513 as of December 2023. However, this figure falls short by a staggering $167,000 of the income required to buy a home in this city.

The situation isn't much better elsewhere in British Columbia. According to the BC government's data from 2022, full-time workers in the province earned an average weekly wage of $1,371.30. The median family income in BC stood at $99,610, still significantly below the average income needed to afford a Vancouver home.

While other BC cities may not be as extreme as Vancouver, soaring home prices continue to outpace average incomes across the province. In Victoria, for instance, the average income required to purchase a home as of December last year was a staggering $178,250.

Calgary also witnessed a significant increase in the income required to buy a home, with a $14,770 jump in December 2023 compared to January of the same year. The real estate market in Vancouver and other parts of Canada continues to be a challenging landscape for aspiring homeowners, raising important questions about affordability and access to housing.