In the midst of various news reports and buyer skepticism, the Vancouver’s housing market is still going strong. In fact, townhouse price shot up by 18% across Greater Vancouver since March in 2016.
Affording a home now seems further and further removed from reality for young people trying to start a family. Is Vancouver at the peak of the housing bubble, like so many economists and experts have warned? Or, is this a phenomenon that is happening elsewhere too?
Today, let’s take a step back and try to assess Vancouver from a large perspective. We’ll perform a “Comparable Market Analysis” among different cities on the West Coast.
Seattle and San Francisco, our neighbours on the Pacific Northwest, are good “comp cities” as we all share very similar geographical features and climate conditions, not to mention being key economic hubs on the West Coast.
Let’s dive right into it.
Available at Realtor.ca, 29 9699 Sills Ave is currently for sale. Below are some highlights:
|Living Space:||1794 SQFT|
|# of Bed|Bath:||4 | 3|
|Condition Score:||4 out of 5|
|Quick Run Down:||Here’s your typical 2-level Richmond townhouse with four bedrooms + den. It does have some cool components such as radiant floor heating and central vacuuming system. These are considered “luxury” features because they are typically only found in single detached houses built in recent years. Overall, a good property in good location, and will most likely sell quickly.|
A duplex style townhouse at 2209 Nob Hill Ave N # B, Seattle, WA. This is currently listed on Zillow.com, one of the prominent real estate platforms in the states. Let’s look at how the stats stack up to our Richmond home:
|List Price:||US$999,000 (Approx. CAD$1.34 millions)|
|Living Space:||1905 SQFT|
|# of Bed|Bath:||3 | 4|
|Condition Score:||4.5 out of 5|
|Quick Run Down:||This townhouse is located in the suburbs of Seattle and about 10 minutes’ drive to the downtown core – quite similar to the setting in Richmond. On the inside, there are some fancy highlights such as hardwood flooring, skylight, jetted bathtub, etc. It is beautifully staged and clearly shows pride of ownership. With all that being said, the layout and interior space seem quite similar to that of our Richmond home. The price tag? A whopping $380,000 difference in asking price!|
This townhouse is located at 950 Corbett Ave Unit 1 San Francisco, about 20 minutes’ drive to the Financial District, San Fran’s central business region. Let’s take a closer look:
|List Price:||US$1,549,000 (Approx. CAD$ 2.07 millions)|
|Living Space:||1801 SQFT|
|# of Bed|Bath:||3 | 2|
|Condition Score:||4 out of 5|
|Quick Run Down:||This one here is a well maintained townhouse with professional grade kitchen appliances. There is a view of the San Francisco Bay from the higher floors. Everything else seems to be in nice condition but nothing quite stands out to me. I’m somewhat concerned about the storm water drainage ability of their exposed patio, but that’s beside the point. With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this townhouse is asking for more than 2 million Canadian dollars!|
As we are reminded every day of the runaway price of Vancouver real estate, perhaps it is also wise to do some fact checking around us.
Though a home seems to become more unaffordable by the minute here, we can see that Vancouver is hardly alone. And one has to wonder: sure the home price looks high right now. But, have we reached a peak yet?