As housing goes up in price and down in availability, a number of trends are appearing, according to Peter Simpson, the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.
One is that more and more people are swapping their monthly rent for mortgage payments.
“Some folks who buy homes will find that their mortgage payments are consistent with what they used to pay in rent,” said Simpson. “So now they’re paying themselves and not a landlord.”
Another is the manifestation of what Simpson calls “mingles.”
“These are single people who are not related to each other, who are not in a relationship with each other and want to become roommates, but this time in a purchase situation,” he said, adding that “mingles” are usually women.
“They’re pooling their resources and ... now they own a place and are building their equity.”
A third trend is that more people are opting for multi-family housing.
“For a first-time homebuyer, a decade ago, their first choice was a single-family home like mom and dad’s,” said Simpson. “Today there are more realistic expectations; they have condos, townhouses that they know will likely be their first home.”
Simpson said while no one municipality is particularly more affordable than any other, there are certain areas that are becoming increasingly popular for young homeowners. East Vancouver is one because of the recent condo development. The Tri-Cities area and Surrey Town Centre are also popular because the rapid transit lines run through them, he said.