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The real estate market in Greater Vancouver ended 2013 in positive territory with indications of optimism for 2014 – except for first-time buyers.

 

Trade-up buyers may have ended the year in an ebullient mood, but first-time buyers had less to celebrate, with affordability issues top of mind. Do the experts think there’s relief in sight? Here’s what some have said in the last few months.

 

“Vancouver ranks second only to Hong Kong in having the least affordable housing.” CBC News on Demographia’s 10th annual housing affordability survey, January 21, 2014

“An estimated one fifth of Metro Vancouver households have trouble finding housing that is affordable.” Metro Vancouver, January 2014

 

“Across the country, housing affordability continues to be the poorest, by far, in the Vancouver area.”RBC Economics, Housing Trends and Affordability, November 2013

 

“With mortgage rates expected to drift gradually higher, housing is expected to be a modest drag on growth through 2014.” BMO Provincial Monitor, October 2013

 

“The recent rapid rise in mortgage rates has raised the question as to whether the wheels will fall off a promising housing recovery.” TD Economics, Observation, July 2013 (US)

 

“Migrants are coming mainly from British Columbia (to Alberta).” BMO Economics, Labour Market Attractiveness, November 2013

 

“Rather than it being a housing issue, it’s more of an income issue. Median incomes are lower in Vancouver than in Regina or Saskatoon – which are far more affordable cities.” Dr. Tsur Somerville, UBC Sauder School of Business, UBC Affordability Panel, September 17, 2013

 

“CMHC has set an average benchmark for housing affordability at 30% or less of the household’s gross income. In Vancouver, the average is closer to 60-70% percent of gross incomes.” City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing, Summary Report, May 2012

 

“Low-equity buyers are most impacted by the affordability squeeze, which affects demand for lower-priced homes and subsequent move up purchases.” Brian Yu, Economist, Central 1 Credit Union, December 2013

 

What do you think?

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