The REBGV December 2009 stats are out and the average Vancouver House price has reached a mind-boggling $952,927 despite less than peak population growth rates.
Don sent in the information above – this chart shows Vancouver average house prices from 1977 to 2009 superimposed on a graph of the BC population growth in percent from BC Stats. The $300k price point correlates to 3% population growth.
One thing to keep in mind is that some divergence is only natural: one percent population growth in 2009 represents more people than 1% in 1977 because we’re starting with a larger base population. It’s still interesting to see the correlation between population growth and house prices. There was actually very high population growth in the late 70s and early 90s that relates to those housing booms. By the middle of the 90s this growth had real house prices nearly back up to what they were in 1981,
You can see the correlation between the housing market decline in the mid nineties and the drop in population growth. We’ve never recovered that high rate of population growth (as high as 3% in the mid nineties). We seem to have peaked at 1.7% in 2008. It will be interesting to see what BC and Vancouver population growth does going forward – will ‘everyone want to live here’ or will we see a a decline in population growth with fewer infrastructure project jobs and less construction?