Canada Real Estate: Homeowners Are Stuck On A Broken Property Ladder

Jesse Ferreras | The Huffington Post 

Matthew and Vanessa Pitcairn are fast outgrowing their apartment in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond.

Matt was born in the city. A fixture in the community, he works for the local chamber of commerce and ran for school board in 2014; Vanessa, who works for the city, moved to Richmond from Hong Kong when she was three years old.

They live in a two-bedroom, 800 sq.-ft. unit they bought in 2013 with their sons Landon, three, and Sawyer, who’s 11 months old.

It’s a beautiful ground-floor apartment, where they keep a garden and are steps away from a playground and a recreational facility that was used in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

They jumped into the housing market with the hope that they could upgrade in about five years.

But three years in, the place is becoming a tight squeeze.

Landon has his own room. But Sawyer sleeps in a crib, tucked into a hallway closet on the way to an ensuite bathroom.

Matt and Vanessa have searched aggressively for a new home for the past three months, but even far-flung areas of the region with more challenging transit access, are proving too expensive.

“Most of Richmond, we’re already priced right out of it,” Matt told The Huffington Post Canada. The family is now considering the possibility of leaving the city they’ve called home for most of their lives.

And they’re not alone among families in Greater Vancouver.

The cost of upgrading

Data gathered by The Huffington Post Canada shows that numerous families around the region are set to have serious trouble moving to more spacious housing over the next decade — let alone enter the market in the first place.

A simple look at the projected cost of upgrading from a condo to a townhouse suggests the task could be impossible for certain buyers over the next decade, if prices keep growing as they have over the past three years.

Read more here.