Home ownership becoming out of reach in B.C. suburbs that were once affordable
For years, B.C. home buyers seeking more for their money have looked east.
“People move from Vancouver to Surrey. Surrey to Abbotsford. Abbotsford to Chilliwack,” explained Surrey realtor Rajiv Bhagirath.
But with the listing of B.C. homes for sale hitting historic lows and prices climbing even higher, the quest for affordable housing is taking some buyers beyond the ‘burbs, while others are deciding to wait it out.
Chilliwack realtor Serena Laye said 30 per cent of her sales the last two months have been people leaving Chilliwack for places like Castlegar, Terrace and 100 Mile House.
He recently had a client who hoped to sell and buy back in the same neighbourhood.
“He could have sold in a heartbeat, but we advised him to wait because there’s nothing available for sale,” he said.
Data from 10 real estate boards across the province paints a picture of low supply, high demand and rising prices.
On Wednesday, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported 19,214 active listings across the province in October — a nearly 40 per cent drop from October 2020 and a record low.
A total of 9,593 sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service, a 13.7 per cent decrease from last October, while the average residential price was $964,777, an 18.9 per cent increase.
The steepest decrease in homes for sale was in the Fraser Valley, where there were 53 per cent fewer homes listed this October compared to the same time last year. Kamloops saw a 49 per cent drop, followed by Vancouver at 47 per cent and Victoria at 55 per cent.