Many young professionals are high-tailing it out of Vancouver. These 20- and 30-somethings are heading for places where real estate is more affordable -- like Kelowna. The high cost of living in the most expensive British Columbia city is getting a little stressful and unaffordable for many, especially for the young. And because real estate is so expensive in Vancouver, renters are often turfed out of their homes through no fault of their own, but because the owners are selling for big bucks.
After a volatile decade or so, the real estate market in British Columbia is expected to remain rather sedate over the next few years. In fact, according the latest figures, the real estate market in the province is experiencing a mild recession. It doesn't look as though that is going to change anytime soon.
Property prices have finally dropped in Vancouver -- for the first time in many years. Prices in British Columbia's largest West Coast city have been climbing, until now, since 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the numbers do not come as a shock, considering additional inventory and a decrease in sales. Still, Vancouver and the surrounding region is one of the most expensive in the country for real estate, with the average home priced at more than $1 million.
Homeownership is becoming more difficult for many British Columbians. In fact, there are apparently only four areas in British Columbia that are affordable when calculated against total household income. Many residents won't be able to afford to buy a home in the province, especially with the federal real estate law that governs the financial stress test.
Could it be possible that what is happening in the housing market in Canada could have an effect on the birth rate? Some real estate experts say yes. With burgeoning prices, some couples, including those in British Columbia, are opting to buy condos instead of single family homes and that could mean delaying starting a family. A recent study points to some interesting findings regarding real estate and birth rates.
Buying a condominium or home is often one of the highest-value transactions that a person will make. Given how much is on the line, it makes sense that a person would want to ensure that every detail is considered before finalizing their purchase.
The new provincial government in B.C. wants a review of the real estate regulatory system. The NDP government wants to have its own report regarding the regulation of real estate, even though regulators faced a major overhaul two years ago under the Liberals. Apparently, the fledgling government wants to ensure regulators are acting in the best interests of British Columbia residents.
A new tax slapped on out-of-province purchasers of real estate has the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) adding its two cents to the conversation the move has created. The board president believes the tax will create hardship in the Okanagan real estate economy as well as in other British Columbia locations. The perceived unintended consequences the tax may create -- particularly towards Albertans who own property in B.C. -- is concerning.
The Pacific Province's recently dropped budget may not make homes any more affordable as hoped, according to industry professionals. British Columbia's proposed housing affordability plan, may even have the opposite effect and drive home prices up, says a spokesperson for the province's real estate development industry. Homes worth upwards of $3 million will also be privy to a transfer tax hike of 5 per cent, up from 3, which won't help matters, the spokesperson added.
Construction sites are popping up everywhere in the Kelowna area. The real estate industry in general is pretty healthy in British Columbia, and the Okanagan Valley area is no exception. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) statistics show that Kelowna broke the record with housing starts in 2017 with 3,577 new builds. Single detached homes comprised 923 of those with the rest going to apartments and condominiums, with condos continuing to lead the way.