I live on Adanac hill in the same block as the WISE Hall. The north side of the street running up to Victoria used to have several crumbling old Edwardian houses that were full of very cheap rental units. They have all been demolished over the last few years and replaced with townhouses.
You may recall that townhouses are supposed to be one of the cheap alternative to single family houses, and the Planning department are pushing them more and more into Grandview (see the recent Open House) as a solution to the housing affordability problem.
The townhouse development right next door to my building has just been completed and I happened to see one of the townhouses advertised in a real estate office this morning:
The top of the picture is a little blurry (having been taken through a glass window) but the important figures below are clear and readable.
Let’s step back a moment and remember that the median family income in Vancouver is roughly $75,000 a year. Therefore, a normal family in Vancouver can never possibly afford this townhouse which, with a 30% down payment, requires an income double what most earn.
The minimum down payment is $265,600. No family can possibly save that much in 20 years on a median income in Vancouver. But let’s assume — as the build-at-any-cost crowd do — that the purchasers have boomer parents able and willing to assist with the down payment. It still doesn’t work.
The annual mortgage payment is $56,652 which is more than the entirety of their take home pay after tax and deductions.
So, who are these townhouses aimed at? Foreign speculators could afford them, of course; and so could people who already have houses to sell. But the average Vancouver family looking to get a foothold into the housing market are frozen out.
Tell me again how this helps the affordability crisis?