Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

If you’d like to see Vancouver’s sky-high home prices plunge by 30 per cent or more, well, you’re not alone.

Far from it — at least that’s what recent polling from the Angus Reid Institute suggests.

According to a poll of more than 700 Metro Vancouver residents, including both renters and owners, 36 per cent of respondents say they hope prices decline by a minimum of 30 per cent over the next few years.

Overall, renters are more bearish than homeowners, as 67 per cent are in the pro-crash camp, perhaps in the hopes that a price collapse could help them one day purchase a home.

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However, one in five Metro Vancouver homeowners are hoping for a crash, too.

It’s a result that Angus Reid acknowledges may appear counterintuitive. After all, homeowners stand to profit from rising house prices, right?

But the pollster had some insight about why property owners may want their own assets to decrease in value.

“Evidently, the pain felt by their neighbours — and children — is weighing on those who would prefer to lose some of their home equity if it means a better quality of life for others,” the Angus Reid Institute, a non-partisan researcher, says.

“Younger and less wealthy Vancouverites are again, more likely to wish for a reversal of market trends,” the Angus Reid Institute adds.

A further 26 per cent of residents would like to see home prices fall “slightly” by about 10 per cent. Some 29 per cent of homeowners and 19 per cent of renters wanted this to occur.

Those wishing for another crash or correction in the coming years might be disappointed if a forecast from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) proves accurate.

While most renters (eight in 10) and a majority of homeowners (three-quarters) already agree that Metro Vancouver housing prices are “unreasonably high”, BCREA forecasts Greater Vancouver home prices will continue to rise over the next three years, albeit at a rate of between 1 and just over 3 per cent annually.

In July, the benchmark price of a Vancouver home was $1,087,500. No longer just Canada’s most expensive market, a recent study suggests Vancouver is the most unaffordable housing market in North America.

The Angus Reid Institute survey appears to reaffirm many Metro Vancouverites hold onto the view that foreign buyers are a significant force behind the high cost of housing there.

Some 59 per cent of respondents checked off foreign-buyer activity as the top cause high housing prices, while 43 per cent say the issue is wealthy individuals.

Chart: Angus Reid Institute 

Foreign ownership in Metro Vancouver varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and by property type, but across the entire region non-residents own about one in 20 residential properties, according to Statistics Canada.

The collection of land-ownership data received the support of eight in 10 respondents, as did several other government interventions in the market.

Still, two-thirds of respondents say government policies won’t make Metro Vancouver housing more affordable.

The Angus Reid Institute polled adult members of Maru Voice Canada, a market-research website, between May 25th and 29th. Check out the full survey results at angusreid.org.

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