A recent survey found that only the top 2.5% of income earners can afford the benchmark price for a Vancouver House. That stat is coupled with another one that shows based on those numbers, it would take an income of at least $205,475 to be able to pay back the (outrageous) benchmark price of $1,441,000.(Source)
That’s stat #1 and #2 for you, but stat #3 is that the condo/apartment benchmark price is at an all-time high sitting at $659,000. This price point is only attainable for people who earn at least $93,527 annually (that puts them in the upper 25% of income earners in the city).
We know those stats can seem daunting—and they are! But we do want to offer some help and solutions for young families looking to get into the market.
- Take a step outside of the downtown core. Typically, property right in the heart of downtown Vancouver is more expensive due to the location and the continued demand. Stepping out to one of the outlying suburban areas can offer more affordable options and can also lend you with an increased inventory of properties within your price point.
- Consider finding a Rent to Own Property. A Rent to Own (RTO) property can allow you to rent a property while subsequently saving up for a down payment. To read more about these unique property types, click here.
- Talk to a mortgage broker. Speaking with a broker and going through a pre-qualification process can help you by allowing you to see the areas in which you will need to improve to help make you more attractive to lenders. This can include things such as:
- Increasing your credit score
- Decreasing your overall debt or consolidating your current debt.
- Looking at increasing your overall income options and the ways in which you can do that.
- Consider using a co-signor(s) for your mortgage to start with. One solution we have found that works well for certain clients is having a co-signor(s) on the mortgage with a planned exit strategy to remove them once the client’s personal income increases or they are able to qualify for the mortgage on your own (ex. By paying down debts and/or improving their credit score). This solution is situation specific, so speak to your broker for more details.
- Save, Save, and Save some more. We know this is common sense but speaking with a financial advisor can help show you ways in which you can save and make your money work for you. We can happily recommend a few as can your mortgage broker.
We know that the state of Vancouver (and Fraser Valley) real estate can seem overwhelming and depressing at times. Keep in mind though that not all hope is lost, and you do have options available to you! Remember the “dream” of the white picket fence detached home is not for everyone…now more than ever multi-family properties such as townhouses and condos are offering more and more amenities and beautiful properties for less. The bottom line is considering all your options and work with a dedicated broker who can help you reach your goals—whatever they might be!