There’s an article on the CBC website about a CMHC statement that renters in Vancouver “get better value for their money than almost anywhere else in the country”. It’s almost like they’ve taken the common ‘housing bubble’ argument and turned it upside down. One way to look at the disparity between property values and rent prices is to say that there is no support for current prices in rental values. Another way to look at the same issue is to say that renters are getting a great deal since rental costs are nowhere near purchase costs.
CMHC analyst Brian Yu said rents in Vancouver are still comparable to many other cities in Alberta and Ontario.
He also noted that rents don’t reflect the fact that homes in Vancouver are the most expensive in the country to purchase.
He cited the example of a two-bedroom condo in Calgary that costs almost as much to rent as it does in Vancouver, even though real estate prices in Vancouver are up to 40 per cent higher than the Alberta city.
As he points out, one of the reasons that rent is lower in Vancouver is that we have legislated rent controls, while Alberta does not. Certainly this would play a part in the discrepancy, but I don’t think you can discount the income side. If rent in Vancouver were to increase 40% to make up for that difference how many people would stay here with current income levels. How much harder would it be to find people to fill those entry level jobs?