Six Figures Needed to Buy a Home in Vancouver

In Vancouver, a GVRD study shows you need to make six figures to buy a home.

Buying a home in Vancouver is now reserved for a privileged few. The results of a new GVRD study show just how much money you need to earn to permanently settle down in our city. To buy a single family home in Vancouver, you need to make $122,000 a year. That’s a luxury only a precious few can afford, when you consider the average annual income in this city is $42,000. And to buy a two-bedroom condo, you have to earn $67,000. Tom Durning with the Tenants Rights Coalition tells News1130, some American cities have begun building housing specifically for the workforce. Durning says, if workers can’t afford to live in a city businesses will have problems finding new staff. He says the problem exists region-wide and the situation has become so desperate, it’s time for the Premier to get involved.

As our combined income is somewhere in between $67,000 and $122,000 it does not look like we will be buying a home in Vancouver any time soon. Not only that but our student loan debt repayments only serve to lower our effective incomes even further (or you can think of it as increasing the amount of your mortgage on the same property by the amount of your debt). But we should not despair! We have found a nice place with decent rent ($1050, far lower, almost 50%, than the mortgage payment for a comparable place) for two people and meanwhile are packing as much money into our RRSPs as we can. It feels good to not be saddled with a massive mortgage in a rising interest rate market at peak housing prices. I cannot help but think that we will be better off in 20 years, with a healthy nest egg in our RRSPs. While others will be scrambling to catch up on their RRSPs, we will be paying down our mortgage. I think investing in the stock market now makes a lot more sense then putting all our hard-earned cash in a home,since the stock market has performed far better than real estate over the long term (here’s a great article that compares the U.S. stock market to U.S. real estate).

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