Whether becoming a homeowner in BC is on your immediate to-do list or a dream you’re saving towards, this report could help shed some light on how long you’ll need to wait before making it a reality. Canadian non-profit Generation Squeeze just released a report on how long the average young adult (between 25 and 34 years old) will have to save for a down payment in cities across the country. And in BC, that wait might be particularly long.
The housing affordability report for 2022 is titled “Straddling the Gap” for a reason. Average earnings and costs of living in BC are already tough to balance (and that’s putting it mildly), but throw in home prices? And you’ve got the perfect storm.
Housing affordability in BC
According to the report, there’s a pretty big gap between average home prices and what is considered affordable. In fact, average home prices would need to fall over 60% of their 2021 value ($567k) to allow a full-time earner to carry a mortgage covering 80% at current interest rates.
And in terms of earnings, residents in BC would need to make $145,000 a year to afford a home, which is over 150% more than current earning levels.
Bottom line? It will take 22 years of full-time work for the typical young person in BC to save a 20% down payment on an average-priced home, according to Generation Squeeze. This number has risen by 17 years since today’s aging population started out.
Housing affordability in Metro Vancouver
Time to rip off the ultimate bandaid. For a young person with typical earnings to afford a home in Metro Vancouver, average house prices would need to fall over 68% of their 2021 value, which is a whopping $814,000.
Full-time workers would need to earn at least $186,000 per year to make home ownership in the region happen, which is more than triple the current typical earning levels.
And finally, it will take 27 years of full-time work for the average young person to save a 20% down payment on an average-priced home – 21 more years than when today’s aging population started out.
The most affordable alternatives when it comes to home ownership in BC? Prince George and Nelson, according to the report. In the former, it would take 9 years of full-time work to afford a home, and in the latter, 11 years.
And that’s all for now, Vancouver. We know looking at these stats can feel bleak at times, but with a ton of saving, patience, and a little luck – who knows what could happen? And if you need an immediate break on other costs of living before you can start saving for your dream home, consider applying for these credits offered by the BC government.