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Opinion: Rents In Metro Vancouver Make No Sense

Quality rental units are few these days when it comes to finding everything that you might need in an area like Vancouver or Burnaby at an affordable price. It is easy to see at least $2,000 per month for a one bedroom in Vancouver or around Metro Vancouver.

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Cities like Vancouver and Burnaby are among the most expensive cities to live in the world, not just Canada. Vancouver has been previously called the most expensive city to live in North America. This isn’t good news for the millions here who don’t make the income that’s required to afford a home of their own, one that meets their needs and goals.

British Columbia has the highest proportion of renters spending over 50% of their income on housing.

This is not sustainable for many individuals and families living here in the region. Already, there are many Canadians who have given up on the dream of home ownership entirely, and for others they cannot help but continue to think that life would be better somewhere else.

The cost of paying $2,000 for a one bedroom is a high price that not many individuals and working professional families can or want to try to afford. Because of the cost of living in Vancouver we see that families and individuals are moving elsewhere to find something cheaper, they’ve got little choice in staying.

It’s estimated that 10,000 more British Columbians each year are picking up and moving out of the Metro Vancouver region than are coming in the opposite direction, they’re moving to other areas in the province that offer more affordable home ownership.

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What solutions are there for the housing crisis in Vancouver?

If the government promises funding into programs that are designed to build affordable houses and they will then give those houses to those in need, who is going to be a part of that screening process to decide who deserves what? There are thousands if not millions of Canadians living in the province who need an affordable home who are struggling with the cost of living in areas like Burnaby and Vancouver. Some of these programs have been announced and it isn’t clear how transparent these programs are going to be.

The vacancy tax that was introduced awhile arguably back hasn’t made any noticeable impact on the housing costs here or rental prices, this was another measure that had been introduced as a solution to help the crisis. But has it helped? Same with the requirements for a down payment to increase, has this helped young families today get into their dream home any quicker?

If any representatives today are shocked to learn that people are paying more than 30% of their income toward housing costs then this looks like they aren’t too in touch with the people who they’re supposed to be representing.

Most families are not going to be able to make the over $200k salary required for a detached home in an area like Vancouver or Burnaby. With the goal that the government has to build more affordable housing around the province the question then becomes how exactly those units are going to be going to those who need them.

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Will housing prices drop in Vancouver?

Is it worth buying a house in Vancouver at these prices and with these bidding wars that we see going on? Some question if the arguable bubble will ever pop, or if this is a real estate market that will go on forever. If it does then that isn’t going to be a pretty picture for future generations, assuming salaries don’t rise right along with those prices to help people be able to afford a basic need.

Around Vancouver, Burnaby, and other Metro Vancouver cities, rents continue to climb but salaries don’t seem to be climbing right along with that high cost of living in the region. The average salary today doesn’t qualify, doesn’t even come close to qualifying, for a home. One previous report found that only the top 2.5% income earners in Vancouver can afford a home.

All around the Metro Vancouver region minimum wage earners are being priced out and their wallets continually squeezed with the increased cost of living in the area.

One thing that many agree on around Canada is that they are waiting on the government to work together to do something to address the problem of so many feeling priced out of their own communities. Canadians are waiting on a true affordable housing solution and they could still be waiting for years to come.

Categories: blog, burnaby, canada, opinion

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