According to the president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), international affordability studies regarding Vancouver are misleading because they don’t reflect the reality that homebuyers purchase more affordable homes every day in neighbouring communities.
Sukh Sidhu is a REALTOR® who lives and works in Abbotsford. “So far this month, over 50 homebuyers in the Fraser Valley have purchased a condo for $199,000 or less and over 100 families are now proud owners of townhomes valued at $399,000 or less.
“About one-third of our buyers are first-timers and two-thirds are using equity from an existing home to either buy up or downsize and they’re thrilled with the value and benefits home ownership provides.”
According to a recent Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Vancouver ranks the second most unaffordable major housing market in the world based on median household income and a median home price of $678,000.
Based on January sales to date, the median home price in Fraser Valley is $405,000. Sidhu says, “To buy that home, you would need about $80,000 as a household income, however to buy a typical condo or townhome in Surrey or Abbotsford for example, you need less than $60,000 as a household income.
“We’re not suggesting that affordability isn’t an issue in Greater Vancouver. In fact, REALTORS® in BC are amongst the most active proponents of strategies to make home ownership more accessible. What we are saying is that these broad, general studies don’t reflect what’s really happening within the local housing market.”
The FVREB is scheduled to release its final January month-end sales statistics from its Multiple Listing Service® during the first week of February.