A recent article I read in the New Yorker magazine states that Vancouver residential real estate has become some of the most expensive in North America. And we sell a lot of condos Downtown Vancouver, in Yaletown, Coal Harbour and the West End, this is true, suites are expense in our city. It is priced on a par – or above – with homes in cities such as Orange County, San Francisco, and New York City. However, Vancouver BC is not a finance or tech centre like those cities are, so salaries and wages here rarely reach the stratospheric levels that can be found there. Wages for many here do not match real estate prices. The result, another international report has found, is that Vancouver is the 2nd least affordable housing market in the world.
This means that a lot of would-be homeowners are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. Is it really worthwhile to take on a heavy mortgage that will keep you working until you are 80? And is it worth not owning your own home, paying rent forever, and having to move at the whims of a landlord? It’s a tough choice to have to make.
Vancouver’s Small Real Estate Solution – As real estate agents, we have worked with many home-buyers and seen the explosion in prices in Vancouver over the last few years. We’ve watched this equation develop with trepidation. For obvious reasons, we believe in home ownership. And we take great personal and professional delight in finding a perfect, affordable home for a client. For some of our clients that has become harder to accomplish.
But, wherever there’s a problem, there’s a solution. If you want to own your home in Vancouver, where real estate is now averaging extreme values price per square foot, the solution for some is to buy a smaller space. Small spaces cost less. It’s simple. And that lowers monthly mortgage rates, reduces stress, and readjusts the equation in the homeowner’s favor.
This, of course, requires a change of expectations. While we’d all love an ocean view, a spare bedroom, and a large balcony, it may not be realistic for you in this city at this time. Developers and architects are realizing this too, and starting to create smaller, comfortable, and affordable spaces. Better, more compact design, with much more thinking going into how space is used and what is really needed seems to be the answer. We’re seeing really inventive solutions to the problem of affordable housing in one of the world’s most unaffordable cities.
Smaller Condos But Still A Good Investment – The other side of the move to smaller living spaces is for those who want real estate investments. Prices have become so high that it’s difficult to make a return on the money you need to invest to buy a space in Vancouver, if you are renting it out to a long-term tenant. We are Vancouver real estate experts and know what works for clients. As an example, rental income for a compact two bedroom is similar to a spacious 2 bedroom, very common to experience Downtown Vancouver and Yaletown. But when you look at the numbers, the compact suite will cost tens-of-thousands less. As Realtors we sell a lot of smaller condo suites to investors who plan on renting their properties for this reason.
We also have a number of clients who have solved this problem by buying small spaces and renting them out short-term through Airbnb. This way, their competition is the high rates hotels charge to out-of-town visitors. And many people would rather stay in a small, more personalized, furnished apartment than in a hotel room. This can be a particularly profitable venture in the busy summer months when the world likes to visit Vancouver.
Of course, there are added costs when renting through Airbnb, such as cleaning after each tenant. Our clients who do this successfully often insist on a minimum stay of, say, 5 days, to make sure costs don’t become too high. Like any investment, you need to look at the numbers up front, and make sure it will work for you.
Realtors Helping Find Smaller Homes In Vancouver – We’ve been locating, listing and selling real estate in Vancouver for 16 years now. In that time we’ve watched prices go from relatively affordable to expensive to stratospheric. The reality has become that, for most people who want to buy and live here, a lowering of expectations has become a necessity. The same is true for those who are looking to buy as an investment.
Are you determined to buy, and have a budget that requires you to think a little smaller? We’re the agents you are looking for. We know the market, and have followed the development of smaller spaces for sale in the city. What’s more, if you own a small space you are thinking of listing, we understand the market you are selling in.
We work with buyers and sellers, and know the local market well. As RE/MAX realtors, we’re in the top 1% of agents in Greater Vancouver, so you can count on professional, experienced, and friendly service. Whether you are buying or selling, let us help you get the best deal possible in the new world of Vancouver real estate.