46 per cent of homeowners in a recent Insights West Poll have indicated that they are thinking about either moving to a cheaper area somewhere in the province or they are thinking about leaving Canada within the next few years.
Things are expensive in the Metro Vancouver region for millions of families living here, but it isn’t just the Lower Mainland that is seeing high prices. From Nanaimo to the Okanagan and other areas around Canada, Canadians are seeing their cost of living go up.
Over the years there have been many calls for solutions and a few political changes have been made, such as the vacant house tax that was introduced in years prior, but the issue of unaffordable housing is still real for too many.
Spending Too Much On Rent
One previous investigation from a few years ago discovered that as much as half of BC renters might be spending more than 30+ per cent of their income on rent alone.
According to BC Housing, someone’s housing is to be considered affordable when 30 per cent or less of their household gross income is going towards paying for those housing costs.
For millions living around British Columbia though they are spending far more than that 30 per cent on their housing costs alone, that leaves less available for any emergencies, transportation costs, medicine, groceries, internet service, phone bill, clothing, pet food, or whatever else they might need.
The more that individuals in the province pay towards their rent alone the less that they have to generally enjoy their life and pay for other things that they might need, then it can easily start to feel like one is only working to keep a roof over their head and not much else. They will feel significant struggle despite how hard they might be working, even if they work full-time or work multiple jobs.
Continually Priced Out Of Living In BC
The stress that comes along with that financial strain and pressure is clear as experts have warned that this housing crisis in BC could cause psychological harm.
The worsening real estate market has prevented some families from starting their own family and having children. For others it has also prompted them to think about leaving the Lower Mainland, province, or country altogether in search of a more affordable lifestyle and higher standard of living.
From that recent Insights West Poll it appears that there are still many today in the province of BC who are thinking about moving somewhere cheaper and looking for cheaper rent than what can be found in many cities in the province today.
It’s estimated that today the average apartment for rent in Vancouver runs around $2,000 per month for a 1 bedroom and the more that this average cost increases the more families and individuals will look to get out of those expensive BC cities and look elsewhere in Canada or in the world.
In the meantime, those who don’t have the option to leave BC are left wondering when or if the real estate market might ever return to normal, if there will ever be affordable housing again for hard-working full time Canadians.
The measures that continue to be introduced, with vacant housing taxes or increased minimum down payments etc, haven’t seemed to have helped low income British Columbians and families around the province be able to afford a home for themselves. Those new policies don’t appear to have addressed the issue in any significant way.
The average incomes that those in BC are earning, full-time working professionals, are not the sort of incomes that are required for those individuals to have a home of their own some day. That reality is setting in for millions and because of this many are giving up on the dream of home ownership altogether.