Courtesy of Vancouver Economic Commission.com
Million dollar homes in Vancouver were at one time exclusive to the west side but are now scattered everywhere. Its an epidemic of undeniable seriousness.
Global BC has reported that Vancouver is now the 3rd most unaffordable housing market in the world. 90% of homes are valued over 1 million dollars, an increase from 65% last year; 1/3 are valued over 2 million.
Families with children are unfortunately becoming a rare sight to behold within the confines of this bustling metropolis and its outlying areas. Experts say if you don't inherit or win a bunch of money, you can forget about owning a detached single family home in Vancouver.
Housing prices being as astronomical as they are also has a negative effect on start up businesses in the city. Business leaders speak of it being difficult to recruit the talent they need when maintaining a life/work balance is nearly impossible for their employees.
Tsur Somerville, of the UBC Centre of Urban Economics and Real Estate, speaks to professionals having to decide to pursue a professional, urban life and give up traditional lifestyle values, like having a house with a yard, starting a family, and easily commuting to work.
There is also a large wage gap to take into consideration when examining why housing is so unaffordable; since 2003, housing prices have risen 175% while average household income has risen only 20%.
In comparison, the reported average price of a single family home within the region of central Vancouver Island was $362,128 in December 2015 (creastats.com) Thats only a 3% increase from a reported $351,286 in 2009 (Nanaimo 2010 Community Profile, Economic Development Office of Nanaimo)
With Vancouver real estate market prices rising with seemingly no ceiling in sight, outlying cities are becoming a more attractive option for those willing to work remotely or commute.
Working remotely has become an increasingly attractive option for professionals in the past few years. With co-working spaces becoming more popular, its a feasible option to work from home while still having access to an office environment. Take Nanaimo's own Square One, home of Innovation Island, and The Network Hub, currently hosting companies like Array Web and Creative.
Of course, with affordable housing, you can also turn that spare room into an office and work from home, walk your dog in a local park on your lunch break, stroll into the next room for dinner with your family after wrapping up your day.
If you need to travel for work every now and then, the possibilities are endless! The Nanaimo airport (YCD) has a direct flight to Vancouver International that departs every 2-4 hours daily, with flights departing on time and often arriving early. Flight prices are around half of what you would pay if you were flying to Vancouver from Victoria. A short 25 minute flight and you have access to the world!
Lesser flight options include the incomparable Helijet, with departures to the heart of downtown Vancouver 7 times a day, every day (flights also go to Richmond). Helicopters fly using radar navigation and can be manipulated in almost any type of weather.
Seaair offers 5 scheduled flights during weekdays and 4 on the weekends, right to the downtown Vancouver harbour. Harbour Air offers up to 16 flights a day to Vancouver. They also offer service from Nanaimo to South Vancouver and Sechelt. From there, you can fly to a multitude of other places. Both companies' flights take about 20 minutes.
Of course, good old BC Ferries offers sailings 7 days a week from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay and Duke Point to Tswassen. If you don't want/need to take your vehicle, traveling as a walk-on pedestrian is incredibly cost effective. There is a proposed passenger ferry only route in the works as well. Unlike Victoria, traffic congestion and crowding aren't an issue with departures from Nanaimo; it is smooth sailing to and from the ferry terminals!
Check out homes in the Central Vancouver Island area for under $350,000 here! If you're interested in viewing any of the properties you see, don't hesitate to contact us. Whether you are contemplating a move from off Island or are already a local, with four full-time real estate agents and thee full time administration assistants, we are confident we can find you the right property.