Vancouver and Toronto home prices: some facts vs spin

Some investigative reporting from BC Business reveals illuminating facts behind the mainstream spin widely quoted from realtors that insanely expensive Vancouver properties are being purchased by wealthy migrants, mostly with cash.  Turns out–not so much…See: Who is buying homes on Vancouver’s Angus Drive.

First of all, the average income versus price info for Canada’s two most inflated markets Toronto and Vancouver, suggests markets in both cities are wildly unhinged from affordability metrics:

The average household income in Toronto’s pricey Bridle Path and Lawrence Park neighbourhoods (the equivalent of Vancouver’s west side) is $205,000 while the median selling price is $2.87 million [14x average income]; in Shaughnessy, where the average selling price in the first six months of 2015 was $6.5 million, the average household income is just over $135,000 [48x average income!!].

Here are key findings from BC Business’s look at 40 transactions along Angus Drive:

1.  Just 30% were all-cash deals. West-side Vancouver realtors say they deal almost exclusively in all-cash transactions.  Across the Lower Mainland, 20% of residential properties are purchased in cash.

2. Price increases on Angus Drive are without equal in Canada.  In one year between 2011 and 2012, property values along Angus north of 33rd Avenue increased 66%; between 57th and 33rd Avenue, 39%; and south of 57th Avenue, 33%. In Toronto’s roughly equivalent neighbourhoods Lawrence Park, Leaside and Davisville–it took 7 years to see a similar rise in prices.

3. Of the transactions analyzed along Angus Drive, 10 buyers listed on the title were identified as homemakers, 15 as businessmen and 16 were a combination of the two; two were students, two were doctors, one was a media agent, while one property was owned by a numbered company registered at the same address as an immigration lawyer.

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