Vancouver does not have a housing crisis: Vancouver has a housing affordability crisis.
Housing costs have long been spiraling out of control. Not just here but in other cities such as Toronto and Victoria. Generation Squeezed says it takes an average of 23 years for a millennial to save enough capital for a down payment on a studio apartment in Vancouver. Saving in Toronto takes nearly as long. This housing affordability problem really hits Canadian millennials and the less advantaged.
This is a huge problem. Young people seek to stay in urban centres where they can grow their careers, businesses and earning potential. Instead, they’re being excluded from the Canadian dream. They’re going straight to the suburban commuter nightmare in their early 20s.
The Vancouver market is dominated by high-end luxury condos – those costing over $1 million. This doesn’t benefit young people wanting to live in the city. This benefits developers. They love luxury condos – they sell quickly, often to off-shore buyers, the buyers have deep pockets and developers do not need to worry about sales falling through. Short-sightedness at city hall has led to the city chasing the municipal fees (Developer Cost Levies and Community Amenity Contributions) that the previous councils have used to fund pet projects such as bike lane after bike lane. All the while, the City is $2 billion in debt.
Coalition Vancouver will champion the construction of smaller condo units build near the city centre and at transit hubs. These efficient units are built for the lives of city millennials – they accommodate their residents’ lifestyles. Owners do not need cars – they are close to transit and work. Convenience and quality of life are emphasized over material possessions. Such units can be owned for $300,000 – less than $1,000 a square foot. A mortgage of just $1,500 a month is competitive with many rental rates. Millennials earning over $40,000 a year can afford to live in our city. Such a purchase and mortgage can be facilitated with a $45,000 down payment (from savings or family).
These units will be limited to citizens and will be owner-occupied units.
Coalition Vancouver would make Millennial Plus units 10% of all new build approvals.
Monthly mortgage payment is $1,272.
Condo fees, insurance, and taxes are around $228 per month.
All-in cost is $1,500 per month.
Exact terms and conditions are modular and adaptable to each context. (Yes, you can have larger units for couples, or even a rent-to-purchase wrinkle. There are lots of options.)
Cost per Square Foot: $1,000 (includes everything)
Size: 300 square feet
Down payment: $45,000
Rate: Fixed Interest Rate of 3.49% (BMO Smart Mortgage base) Amortization: 25 years
Source: BMO Smart Fixed Mortgage Closed Monthly: $1,272
Extra Charges: $228 (Condo Fees, Insurance, Taxes) All-In Costs: $1,500
Amortization in Years: