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Expensive homes increasingly found in the suburbs: report

Last Updated Dec 21, 2016 at 10:55 am PDT

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BC Assessment finds 43 per cent of detached homes are valued at $1 million or more

Expert points to need for density to make things affordable

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you decide to buy a home outside Vancouver proper, it still won’t be cheap. You might have thought the suburbs are your last chance at a single-detached house, but new research shows the $1 million figure is now becoming a regional reality.

2016 $1 Million Homes Report

Forty-three per cent of detached houses are valued at a $1 million or more, according to BC Assessment numbers compiled by Andy Yan, head of SFU’s City Program. That’s up from 28 per cent in his report he put together last year.

His latest research shows how $1 million homes are no longer concentrated in the City of Vancouver, instead spreading out into surrounding areas as well. “What we found was the fact that the million dollar mapline for single family properties in metropolitan Vancouver is effectively the New Westminster-Port Moody border now,” explains Yan.

That’s a big change in comparison to where that line stood five years ago, when he found the cutoff was Vancouver’s Main Street.
Yan also looks at transportation costs in this report, finding people who live in the Township of Langley will spend more than half a million dollars over the next 25 years on average just to get around.

“Perhaps what’s more important is that once you begin to take into account transportation costs, that the number of million dollar homes dramatically increase in Metro Vancouver,” says Yan. “Once we include the cost of commuting and daily life, that the number of million dollar homes, it brings it up to almost 92 per cent of single family homes. Transportation plays an important element towards defining affordability.”

As a result, Yan suggests people need to shift their expectations, but also points out the need for more density to help provide more affordable housing for families.