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Dream of a detached house for many condo-owning young families out of reach

Last Updated Nov 1, 2018 at 6:37 pm PDT

Summary

A new report finds overwhelming majority of young families, who own condos, townhouses, would prefer a detached home

83 per cent of existing young homeowners would prefer single-detached home over a condo or townhouse: report

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Is the dream of owning a single-detached home dead for young families in Canada’s big cities?

An overwhelming-majority who already own a home would prefer that option over a condo, but are hamstrung by the cost.

Sotheby’s Brad Henderson says the perception has been that younger homeowners had changed their preference, and wanted to live in dwellings like condos and townhouses, or multi-unit residential structures.

However it is price that gets right in the way of ability.

“If price were not a consideration, well over 80 per cent of [young homeowners] would actually rather live in a detached single-family home,” he explains. “So price is a consideration so many of these younger home buyers are finding it more and more difficult to afford that.”

That’s why he says other forms of homes have come into play.

The report finds a number of people have given up on the dream of buying into a detached home, about 43 per cent. Henderson says that number is higher in Vancouver and Toronto, because of high prices.

“I think the interesting part of it, and it’s not really brought out in the report, is that there’s a significant amount of inter generational wealth that’s going to be transferred over the next 10 to 15 years. And what this study would say is that those people who are likely going to be the recipients of that wealth are very much preferring to have a detached single-family home.”

Henderson believes it’s partly because of this that demand for this particular type of home will continue to be strong.

According to census data from 2016, the benchmark prices for a detached home in Vancouver ranged between $1.5 million and more than $3 million, depending on which side of the city you looked at.

The benchmark prices for apartments, however, hovered around $575,000 in the city’s east and $804,000 in the west.

“Affordability is the biggest challenge for [young families], and particularly in the city centres, because that’s where real estate tends to be the most scarce — and I’m talking about detached single-family homes — and of course, that’s where the prices of those particular homes have been bid up the most.”

He points out prices have also been increasing in other cities across the country.

The report also finds only 18 per cent of young, urban home-owning families plan to buy a single-detached home in a city centre in the future, while 21 per cent will aim for somewhere else.

-With files from Dean Recksiedler