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I see that publication defines affordability as median house price divided by gross median household income.

It would be interesting to see a calculator which showed mortgage payments as a percent of median gross household income at current rates and if rates rise by 100, 200 and 300 basis points...it will send unaffordability stats to even more crazy heights for homeowners with long mortgages and little equity...!
 

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I think a lot of the price increase in Vancouver is due to the fact people are tying to avoid the HST. After that goes in I am sure sales will level off. I am also hearing banks want to bring mortgage payment lengths down to 30 years and so on to cool the market down.

One thing I always wonder is why we ever allowed 35 year mortgages and less down and so on. Sure house prices would not go up as fast, but if we never allowed it, it would never be a problem. In the end you have to qualify or not own it.

If Vancouver ever does get a big correction and you can get a good deal I would buy there if I could. You know you will always make money in Vancouver if you can get in at a good price.
 

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I think a lot of the price increase in Vancouver is due to the fact people are tying to avoid the HST.
I think it has more to do with the fact that Vancouver is the only major Canadian city with a mild climate, plus it keeps getting listed at or near the top of the list of most liveable cities in the world.

Plus I wonder if there's a spillover effect from the Seattle region, which has had similar price increases over the past few decades as more and more refugees from California settle there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think it has more to do with the fact that Vancouver is the only major Canadian city with a mild climate, plus it keeps getting listed at or near the top of the list of most liveable cities in the world.
I have to admit as an avid motorbiker and snowmobiler, I would drop everything and move here in a heartbeat for the climate and rockies

It blows my mind that people are motorbiking and driving around in summer cars in Feb, while the best snow conditions are within sight

The housing prices are a deal breaker. I currently live in #77 Most Affordable Housing so I probably couldn't even afford my hobbies in Vancouver :p
 

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High Octane I think you mean the Coastal Mountain range unless you are talking about eastern BC or Alberta.

You should see how insane it has got here in Richmond BC. I thought my house was expensive at $400,000 now I can get over $850,000. Last year I would have been lucky to get $600,000. I own a good size lot with an old house on it. In fact if someone came over to look at it and I told them the foundation was gone the roof was leaking and so on they would just laugh and still pay $850,000 for it.

The thing out here if you have land and I am just talking about a 66 by 110 lot the house doesn't matter unless it was new or a lot of money was put into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yea sorry they look like rockies to me I'm not from here obviously

I took the skytrain yesterday and noticed a lot of old houses. I paid 130k for my 97 house so I can't imagine.

Do you think the prices will drop any after the Olympics?

By the way the Opening Ceremonies will be a good show!
 

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I think the Olympics will have a positive impact and will in fact help keep our house prices higher then they should be. People forget that a lot of money comes from China and elsewhere and these people will pay with cash and not the big mortgages. In the rest of Canada you simply cannot attract the kind of money Vancouver can.

Having said that I believe if interest rates can go up a bit and the rush to buy before HST is over we could get a nice correction. So if you see the opportunity to get in at a good price that you can easily afford and can hold for more then 5 years you should come out well ahead. In the rest of Canada you could sit a very long time without that money that Vancouver can attract before you make some decent gains.
 

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I am curious to see whether the March federal budget will increase the downpayment for a home to 10%....it has been rumored that Jim Flaherty is considering it.

It would slow the RE market...not deflate it...and it may be the right thing for a gov't to do, to ensure that there is never a US style crash here. As that seems to be a bad thing. (sarcasm)

But you never know...it is good for re-election for everyone to feel house rich. And the gov't could put pressure on the banks to tighten lending standards (even though the banks have publicly asked for the 10% down rule in an attempt to push the potential lending blame onto the gov't), to allow to keep the rules as they are, and to also allow to keep rates at near 0 for a few more months.
 

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I'm from Vancouver and the housing market here really is insane.

1 BR condos in Kitsilano are going for half a million dollars!

But really Vancouver is amazing.. the food here is cheap, we're a cultural melting pot (hence the amazing food), we have views of the mountains and you can go snowboarding and hang out on the beach in the same day or go motorbiking.

Yeesh, the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies made Vancouver look friggin amazing (did you guys see the aerial views?). Historically the housing prices go down after the Olympics, but I'm uncertain what will happen here in Vancouver since it's "The Best Place on Earth" as our slogan goes!
 
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