The price of residential real estate in Greater Vancouver has increased by a tremendous amount in the recent years – but this is very old news to residents of British Columbia. The price of single-family detached homes in Vancouver especially, rose to an all-time high last year when it hit a staggering $1,513,800 in May 2016. Although there are recent predictions that market prices will begin to fall in 2017 due to government interventions such as the introduction of the 15% foreign buyer tax, and higher mortgage rates, experts still agree that it “won’t make the city affordable ”.
Metro Vancouver is not only an urban world class destination, but also an incredibly beautiful place to live. Therefore, prices of real estate properties will never drop enough to be considered cheap. So, what is the best option for first-time home buyers or real estate investors to make the most of their investment in the lower mainland? British Columbian residents have been moving further out of the overpriced metropolitan area towards regions such as Langley, Abbotsford, or Coquitlam. These areas are being developed rapidly and are quite frankly much better priced. Buying a townhouse in Langley, for example, is a great idea for first or second time home buyers or investors. Compared to Vancouver, Langley is a much more affordable option for young families, working professionals, and families interested in downsizing. The daunting average price of a detached home in Vancouver still lies over the $1-million mark, while average condo prices in Vancouver still hover between $510,000 and $515,000 for a one or two bedroom. Living in the suburbs is gradually becoming more of an appealing option to a lot of millennials who are frustrated with their living conditions in Vancouver. In places such as Langley, you can definitely get a lot more “bang for your buck.”
In December last year, the government announced the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program in order to help first-time buyers take their first step into the housing market. This partnership program provides first-time home buyers with a loan “up to $37,500, or up to 5% of the purchase price, with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years ”. This is an incredible incentive for first-time buyers that may not have been able to afford the down payment on their own.
Town-homes are now considered the new single-family home, being a much more realistic choice for a family in the lower mainland. Not only is the cost to buy significantly less, but there are other perks as well, such as lower maintenance, having access to family friendly amenities, and enjoying higher security.