While no doubt beautiful, Vancouver is an expensive city to live in. With that in mind, people opt to stay for myriad reasons.
After all, the city was ranked the third most liveable in the world for the seventh year in a row. In Canada, it is considered the most liveable city.
Yet, Vancouverites still struggle to make ends meet. Most British Columbians acknowledge that housing is unaffordable for most; however, a new study further underscores just how high the costs are.
This month, the Royal Bank of Canada ranked it as the least affordable for any regional housing market ever recorded in Canada.
Specifically, the cost of financing a home at today’s prices would represent 85.2% of a typical household’s income in the fourth quarter; that means people have to spend nearly all of their annual earnings for years as they finance their homes.
In response, the City of Vancouver introduced the Empty Homes Tax. The tax was instated to fine people who bought property that stayed empty, in order to penalize this behaviour. In addition, a false declaration carries a staggering $10,000 penalty.
Not only have empty homes contributed to a rise in rental costs, but the number of Airbnbs has also made less space available for rent. Even certain historical areas, such as Main Street’s Little India and Chinatown, are slowly losing business and shrinking year by year.
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