The latest RBC Economics quarterly report had the following to say about the housing affordability in Vancouver.
Generally speaking, housing affordability remains fairly neutral in Canada with limited signs of undue stress being exerted on homebuyers. Both at the national level and in the majority of local markets. The two main exceptions are Vancouver and Toronto where high and rising prices make it a stretch for a typical household to own a home at today’s market values, especially in the single-detached segments (the bar on condo ownership is comparatively much less of a hurdle). In the case of Vancouver, poor affordability has long been the reality.
Vancouver – Sizzle puts added pressure on affordability
The sizzle is back in Vancouver’s housing market, and strong price increases for single-family homes in the first quarter of 2015 further pressured already poor affordability levels in the area. Home resales rose for the fourth consecutive quarter in the latest period to their highest level in more than five years.
Sellers did not keep pace with growing demand from homebuyers, especially for single-detached homes, thereby causing the demand-supply equation to tilt even more in favour of sellers. The condo segment was better supplied, however, thanks to increased multi-unit construction in the past couple of years, which contributed to put a lid on condo prices.
RBC’s affordability measure for bungalows posted its biggest increase in three years—2.8 percentage points to 85.6%.
The measure for two-storey homes also rose, although less dramatically, by 0.9 percentage points to 86.9%.
The measure for condos bucked the trend in easing by 0.5 percentage points to 39.6%. Accelerating price advances this spring (Vancouver boasted the fastest rate of appreciation among Canada’s largest cities most recently) suggest that affordability will likely deteriorate further in the term in the area.
To read more: http://rbc.com/economics/economic-reports/pdf/canadian-housing