I’ve lived in the Metro Vancouver area since the early 90’s, my parents took a gamble and left everything they had and knew in London, England for this up and coming area of Canada. They were looking for a better place to raise my brother and I (we both thank them for the brave choice they made!).
In the 25 years or so that I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot of change some for the better and some not as much, but I can still say there’s no place I would rather live and now raise my own kid’s. In the media, social media, etc… you hear a lot of opinion’s on Metro Vancouver Real Estate and what’s going on.
This is my Opinion and you can take it how you please…
Metro Vancouver has changed and there is no doubting that, it’s gone from the small coastal city on the West Coast to a destination of choice across the planet. Yes our Real Estate is expensive and in some area’s un-affordable. Even though there are thoughts out there that is the cause of the government, developers, Realtor’s (yes I am one), political policies (might have something to do with it) the reality is that not one group in this list can cause what we’re experiencing, which is basically densification and the death of the Detached Single Family home. There will be corrections and dips in pricing as the years go on but I’m 99.9% sure we will never see the Real Estate market in Metro Vancouver crash, unless there is a world wide occurrence that effects Canada, North America or the World (Trump may be a factor).
The factors out of anyone’s control are based around the land available, we are Land Locked! Surrounded by a Border to the south, an Ocean to the west and Mountains to the North and East, that is never going to change. Policies do control an aspect of the issue, with the ALR in place, that reduces large area’s of land. Whether or not we really need it in Metro Vancouver is an argument within itself. If this was suddenly opened up we would most likely see a large increase in residential supply and developments. The other option to increase supply is to densify current residential area’s and we’ve seen this happen and continue to see it happen. The only way for this to occur is for area’s that are able to support Townhouses, Row-houses, Duplexes, Condo’s, etc… to be re-zoned from the traditional Single Family Home to these types of zoning’s. Area’s with new and improved transit are ideal locations and you see the change that’s occurred around them, i.e the SkyTrain. The Single Family Home will still exist in some form but the days of first time buyer having access or the ability to buy them are numbered. Most people will hate to hear this but it’s a matter of WHEN not IF.
I’m not comparing us to these cities but places like London and it’s suburbs, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and even Toronto to some extent you basically have to be a millionaire if not a billionaire to own a single family detached home. I know when I lived in a suburb west of London, I had never seen a detached single family home, all my family and friends lived in an attached or semi-attached dwelling (comparable to Duplexes or Townhouses) and that was the norm and continue’s to be. As long as population, migration and/or immigration into Metro Vancouver keeps increasing we are on the way down this path.
I wish it wasn’t true to some extent but I’m afraid Metro Vancouver is growing up and whether we like it or not we’ll have to live with it or move to the second best location…