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Vancouver least affordable Canadian city: RE/MAX

Last Updated Jul 20, 2021 at 4:32 pm PDT

Homes are pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

RE/MAX is labelling Vancouver as the country's most unaffordable city

With a typical household salary, you'll spend half your monthly income on mortgage payments if you buy an average home

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It’s not getting any easier to buy a home in this region, with real estate prices still on the rise.

That’s leaving many potential homebuyers on the outside looking in, with RE/MAX labelling Vancouver as the country’s most unaffordable city — even beating out the likes of Toronto.

The firm is sharing that as part of its annual Housing Affordability Report.

It finds that you’ll spend half your monthly income on mortgage payments if you buy the average Vancouver home and have the typical household salary.

This resonates with one of our listeners, J.R.

Despite having a household income in the range of $200,000, he’s planning to relocate along with his partner in order to save up for a downpayment.

“Our families all live here,” says J.R. “But we just start looking and then being like — would it upset everyone to go from seeing each other every month to maybe once or twice a year instead? That’s kind of the choice you have to make….you think there’s bigger, more life-changing events that would lead to [having to move], but it just turns out — no, you just don’t make enough money.”

This isn’t just an issue in the core.

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Travis McKeown had been trying to buy a house in Delta.

He wants yard space for his kids but has found himself outbid, but in the one case where he had the highest bid — lost out because someone else had made a subject-free offer.

“Just feeling a little disheartened that I can’t give my kids everything that I got to have as a kid growing up in the 90s — it’s disheartening to know that even though I’m trying to make compromises to give them some of those things, that is even looking out of reach,” says McKeown.

But after making a couple of unsuccessful bids, McKeown is pressing pause for now.

When subject-free offers are made, McKeown notes it’s sometimes because potential buyers have already done an inspection before they make their offer.

“They paid for an inspector upfront to come in and do an inspection, and they came in and put an offer on the place,” says McKeown of one house he was trying to buy. “But we’ve been hesitant to do that because we feel so defeated on our chances of getting any homes, that at $600 to $1,000 per inspection, three offers, we’re looking at being out $2,000 to $3,000. That’s not chump change.

“Unless we legitimately feel we have a chance at winning the bid, we don’t want to do a pre-inspection, because it’s money down the drain.”