Thinking of relocating?

From the gosh-what-a-suprise department: the Sun has an article about Northern BC having the most affordable real estate.

The survey found that despite average house price increases of 30 per cent across northern B.C. in 2006, owning a home in the region consumes less than half the household income of a homeowner in Vancouver.

According to the BCNREB report, which was commissioned after RBC Financial Group released the results of a cross-Canada housing affordability study showing that B.C. was the least affordable place to buy a house, the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) for northern B.C. was 28.9 per cent compared to 68.5 per cent for Vancouver and 62.5 per cent for B.C. as a whole.

I wonder if anyone in Vancouver actually does spend 68.5 percent of their pre-tax income on housing.. Is that even physically possible?

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torque
torque
13 years ago

"Lucky for you, your standards aren't terribly high. Must be nice."Tell us this: why does someone who has such lofty standards – who clearly shows contempt for this city – spend his/her precious time commenting on a web-site about the very place that s/he has such hatred?

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

Richmond does have *some* bike lanes.No 3 Road maybe? I'm not sure. All I can say is that its an abrupt end to bike-friendly streets once I leave Vancouver. I'm not even a big fan of bike lanes on a busy street, but more the specific side streets for bikes, that include controlled crossings of major roads.Knight St. bridge eh? I bet you work in suite 200 and the postal code ends in a '1'. Java, hp-ux, solaris and ms systems, oracle with some sql server?Heh, no sorry. I'm not even sure what place you're talking about.

Richard
Richard
13 years ago

"…Knight St. bridge and Richmond roads have nothing for bikes"Richmond does have *some* bike lanes.Knight St. bridge eh? I bet you work in suite 200 and the postal code ends in a '1'. Java, hp-ux, solaris and ms systems, oracle with some sql server?

Andrew
Andrew
13 years ago

I think that my wife and I are spending about 30% of our net income on our mortgage + property tax + insurance. About the only reason that we've had to bother even making a budget is because (a) we both have student loans to pay off, and (b) we're trying to pay down the mortgage in 20 years instead of 25.No major maintenance to worry about in the next few years other than general upkeep, and some minor renovation projects we planned during our inspection…

Streel
Streel
13 years ago

Just read this post over at Chipmans blog and had a good snicker, thought it appropriate.Hurray Hurray!May 24th, 2007 at 1:09 pm Well folks, I finally did it. I drank the kool aid and bought into this market. A market I once considered “Stupid” but now a realize I was the stupid one. Now that I’m in I understand just how beautiful and fulfilling home ownership really is-AT ANY PRICE!! My wife and I now dine every night by candlelight. Partly because it’s romantic and party to save on electricity and partly so I don’t have to look at what I’m eating. I take the bus to work now and that saves the enviroment so – YOU’RE WELCOME. And after work I collect cans and bottles to pay my strata but man our condo is AWESOME! Life truly is wonderful… Read more »

markx
markx
13 years ago

freako: if price cave first, pop growth CAN go negative, especially if the price caving coincides with ending of Olympic construction and bust of the forestry sector. Generally, people go where the jobs are. Much of recent net migration has been supported by strong employment market. When jobs vanish, people leave. Home prices in Manitoba haven't been very high for a few decades, but their population growth is pretty close to negative. If rich foreigners and boomers don't materialize like the bulls predict, we could end up having both lower rent and lower RE value, something a bit unfamiliar to most Vancouverites.

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

Save gas, stay fit. Save the planet.Details at vacc.bc.ca/biketoworkGreat link. I bike from east van to Richmond at least once or twice a week. Its a great way to get around and stay fit. Vancouver's bike routes are great, but the Knight St. bridge and Richmond roads have nothing for bikes.

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

Lucky for you, your standards aren't terribly high. Must be nice.I was going to respond to your comments above, but others did before me. I have to ask: where do you live now? What makes it better than Vancouver to you?Obviously people want to live here. Even prior to the recent run-up, long term prices in Vancouver are high compared to the rest of Canada. The only rational explanation is that is supply and demand. The west coast of North America seems to have been in demand since the gold rush.If you have a chip on your shoulder and hate Vancouver for reasons only you can understand, then I don't think this blog is really the place for you.

exvancouverite
exvancouverite
13 years ago

"Sour grapes, anyone?" Yeah, I'm ticked. I was born in this mildew infested pretending city. My parents could have had sex someplace nice and decent, but oh no.Lucky for you, your standards aren't terribly high. Must be nice.

Richard
Richard
13 years ago

"…the most money anybody pays for fuel?"Just thought I'd mention may 28 to June 3 is Bike to Work Week.Save gas, stay fit. Save the planet.Details at vacc.bc.ca/biketowork

torque
torque
13 years ago

"Why would any thinking person move here?" "…Is it the rain, fog, dank, drizzle, mold? Excessive housing costs and the most money anybody pays for fuel?"Sour grapes, anyone?

beta
beta
13 years ago

Well, no; actually it's not that good. We shouldn't have to 'save like bandits, waiting for the crash'. We could just live like human beings, instead.Not only do we live like human beings, we live better than 99.999% of all human beings who ever lived on this planet. Cheer up, dude. You got it good; only your perspective sucks.

freako
freako
13 years ago

"I wonder if anyone in Vancouver actually does spend 68.5 percent of their pre-tax income on housing.. Is that even physically possible?"This stat is a little deceptive. I think few people pay 68.5 percent. The median income household does not live in the median house.As Vancouver proper grows, a higher and higher percentage of housing will be high density.The crazy thing is that townhomes now have about the same affordability levels as SFH did when this madness started. That is nuts I tell you.Also, I think the fact that our population growth is falling off a cliff IS related to pricing ourselves out of the market. Will pop growth go negative? Not if prices cave first.

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
13 years ago

BC isn't beautiful when your expenses far exceed your income…which appears to be the case for the majority of our population.

Brenda
Brenda
13 years ago

*Thinking of relocating*Me too, eventually, but not because I don't like Vancouver. I've been here too long, miss the snow and need more space. So much for the myth about boomers downsizing and moving to warmer climes.But prices in northern BC are no better than prices in Vancouver when you consider what you're getting for your money. $70,000 will get me a mobile home in a trailer park in Fort St. James, BC. Yuck. If I move east of Alberta, that same $70,000 means a nice house on an acre or two. Either way, I'd have to factor in transportation and heating costs to see if I can really afford it.BC is beautiful. People really do want to live here which is one of the reasons real estate is so expensive. I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Reknab
Reknab
13 years ago

"Why would any thinking person move here? If you had a reasonable life somewhere else, why would you take a serious cut in pay/lifestyle to live here?Is it the rain, fog, dank, drizzle, mold? Excessive housing costs and the most money anybody pays for fuel?Seriously?"I just liked the city here and as a single person it offered me a lot more than where I was living at the time (East Coast). The savings by living downtown verus running my car there cover a good portion of my rent.I am use to rain and fog and snow so this is better than what I am accustomed to.

exvancouverite
exvancouverite
13 years ago

"In the meantime, we're saving like bandits and waiting for the crash. Life is good."Well, no; actually it's not that good. We shouldn't have to 'save like bandits, waiting for the crash'. We could just live like human beings, instead.I just want a place to retire and be a quiet respectful, peaceful citizen, contributing to everything around me.Waiting out the life-span of sharks doesn't fit the description of 'life is good'.

beta
beta
13 years ago

My wife and I pay 13% of our net income on rent, and that includes hydro, cable and internet. We have a small place but a huge backyard that our dog & two cats enjoy immensely, and which we'll miss when we eventually buy a townhouse.In the meantime, we're saving like bandits and waiting for the crash. Life is good.

exvancouverite
exvancouverite
13 years ago

"I moved to Vancouver in mid 2004"Why would any thinking person move here? If you had a reasonable life somewhere else, why would you take a serious cut in pay/lifestyle to live here?Is it the rain, fog, dank, drizzle, mold? Excessive housing costs and the most money anybody pays for fuel?Seriously?

Reknab
Reknab
13 years ago

I pay about 35% of my NET income in rent. I am single and live downtown so I do not have to operate a car (I own one but it is in storage). I have no debt whatsoever, and just have to pay the cable/internet and utilities. I find this is about the MAX I would want to pay for shelter/housing and if I had to run a car I think I would be pushing it to the brink. I think there must be many people that have less a precentage of disposable income remaining than I do.I moved to Vancouver in mid 2004 and have since missed this real estate bull run so I will NOT buy unless something changes. It's different for some people if they bought pre 2004.

satv
satv
13 years ago

well said brenda you nailed it.motive creat directions.real estate price=locationsbuying real estate=attemptaffordabilty=riskmanaging mortgage payments=challengeovercome of risk=profitlosing=losing because if we do not start we were and we will be anyway.

markx
markx
13 years ago

Brenda: I think most people do consider more than just home prices when they relocate, but the cost of buying a home in Vancouver is high enough to make it a major consideration. For many people, due to career and lifestyle choices, not having a car is a major set back. If you have to have a car anyway, the cost of maintaining a vehicle in Northern BC and GVRD are not much different. It's true that the lifestyle in small towns is very different from a metropolitan city like Vancouver, but the freed up cash due to lower home prices do make a difference, for those who don't insist on city living.

Brenda
Brenda
13 years ago

"I wonder if anyone in Vancouver actually does spend 68.5 percent of their pre-tax income on housing.. Is that even physically possible?"I think whether you can afford something has a lot to do with lifestyle, unless you're trying to support a family on $10 an hour.When I was a "poor" student, I rented a basement suite for 70% of my income.I now own a condo My mortgage, taxes, strata fees and utilities come in around 24% of gross or 30% of net. When I refinanced I had the bank increase rather than decrease the payments because my shelter costs were so ridiculously low. In both circumstances, my lifestyle has remained much the same. I still take public transit, shop at second hand stores, take in free events around Vancouver. My happiness score hasn't changed either.What has changed is my income.… Read more »

condohype
condohype
13 years ago

The smart money buys in Smithers.

markx
markx
13 years ago

I think Prince George has the highest median salary among all major cities in BC. It probably has the lowest home prices, just by coincidence. Maybe it's the next "hot spot"? Yeah, they're running out of land in Northern BC. Just wait for Rennie's next ad: Be bold or move to Yukon, featuring the newest luxury condo in Downtown Prince George.