A new survey says Vancouver is the world’s sixth most expensive city to buy a condo and the eighth most expensive market for a single-family home.
Hong Kong tops the list as the most expensive place in the world to purchase property, according to a new Century 21 survey. New York and San Francisco are the other two North American cities to crack the top 10.
The survey estimates Vancouver condo cost an average of $1,172.80 per square foot while single-family homes come in at $824.47 per square foot.
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According to Century 21’s Brian Rushton, sky-high Vancouver real estate prices aren’t going away anytime soon.
“This is the new reality as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I don’t think there’s an end to this. Looking at cities like ours, like Hong Kong, like Toronto they continue to go up, they don’t come down and I think that’s very evident here in Vancouver.”
Josh Gordon of Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy said real estate prices are so high that “locals are being priced out of their childhood cities and that’s a big problem and causing a lot of anger and angst.”
For example, in March 2016 a home in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood sold for $3.388 million. Months later, the home was torn down. Standing on the property now is a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot house selling for $7.138 million.
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“I’ve been here since 1988 on this block and never in my wildest imagination would I think that real estate prices are what they are today,” Dunbar resident Gab Donnici said.
Donnici knows he is lucky to have gotten into the market before prices skyrocketed, but worries about his son.
“He wants to be here but it’s going to be determined by what kind of job he gets,” he said.
“Let’s face it, you need a certain income now to live in this general area and in fact the whole Lower Mainland and it really concerns me,” Dunbar resident Michelle Lim said. “Where will my kids live? Will they be able to be in general proximity to us? To me, it’s changed the fabric of our city.”
Gordon says this so-called “new reality” could change, specifically if a surtax is imposed.
“You need to make it less attractive for global investors who can benefit from low property taxes and all the benefits that come from the income taxes that we pay and free-ride off of those income taxes.”
– With files from Lynn Colliar
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