The average Metro Vancouver household has been priced out of being able to buy a house in every local market in the region — but there are still a handful of places where they can afford a typical condo, a new study suggests.
According to real estate company Zoocasa, there are seven such markets: Maple Ridge, North Delta, Ladner, Port Coquitlam, North Surrey, Tsawwassen, and Pitt Meadows. In each of these places, a household earning the median income can afford benchmark-priced condo unit.
Zoocasa’s calculations are based on a downpayment of 20 per cent and a 3.14 per cent fixed-rate mortgage with 30-year amortization. They also assume that every month condo owners will be forking over $50 for heating and $250 to cover maintenance fees.
“It was nice to see that there were some options for strata apartments,” Zoocasa Managing Editor Penelope Graham tells Livabl.
Among those options, Maple Ridge was the most affordable out of all 20 Metro Vancouver markets Zoocasa analyzed. The actual median household income for the city was $29,750 greater than the income required to purchase the average condo.
Last month, the benchmark price of a Maple Ridge condo was $374,200, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. That’s well below the Greater Vancouver benchmark condo price, which inched downwards to $695,500 in August.
Some of the similarities Graham notes between the seven affordable condo markets is that none are located close to Vancouver’s core but all are within commuting range of the city centre.
Even with it’s relatively affordable condo market, Maple Ridge was still out of reach for those seeking a detached home. The median price for this housing type was $870,200 in August. So the median household income of $86,178 was short $35,602 of the income needed to qualify and carry a mortgage on a house.
“That was what really stood out to us,” says Graham, referring to the fact that detached homes weren’t affordable for a median-earning household anywhere in the metro area. “If you earn the median income you’re completely out of luck.”
Check out this infographic from Zoocasa ranking condo affordability across Metro Vancouver: