Vancouver Home Buyer’s Adopt Slogan

Mixed Messages

Certain messages must from time to time frustrate Vancouver home buyers!

For a few years one message from a major mortgage lender, Scotia Bank, tells you that ‘You are Richer Than You Think.’ Another from Canada Mortgage and Housing tells you that it offers ‘housing market intelligence you can count on.’

Combined the two messages appear as sources offering uplifting counsel . The reality is different!


According to Colin Campbell of Macleans magazine, some people doubt Scotia’s message. Campbell noted in his report that ‘even the Royal Canadian Air Farce has poked fun at the slogan by turning it on its head so it reads, “We’re richer than you think.”’


CMHC’s ‘housing market intelligence you can count on’ latest report included this graph. According to the graph if one compares the income levels required to own a home in Vancouver to the income levels of Vancouver home buyers a contradiction exists that suggests the Vancouver homes buyer’s notion of being rich will be summarily disposed in the trash.

Vancouver’s Home Buyer Slogan

The messages of Scotia and CMHC when compared to the income reality faced by Vancouver’s home buyers and their ability to afford a home assaults your senses.

Market insight instead suggests that a great number of Vancouver home buyers when looking at their net pay cheque will adopt a slogan of their own making. It is one word, simple, well known and direct. It is ‘Frustration.’

CMHC Report Graph Image Courtesy CMHC “You are Richer Than You Think” ©Scotia Bank

About Larry Yatkowsky

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

jesse Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

LOL, now watch how the incomes change if mortgage rates go up by 1%, 2% and 3%.

numbers guy Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Here I thought that I was doing pretty good with a household income of around $180k. But apparently, this won’t even land me an “average” house in my Burnaby hood! I didn’t realize that the average schmuck in Burnaby was pulling $200k+ per year! Oh well, I guess that explains why housing is so expensive these days…..

What’s that? Oh… average Joe’s aren’t making two bills per? So maybe housing a wee bit overpriced??? Say 50% give or take….

bbcoq Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

The graph is very informative but does it include rental income from basement suites? Look anywhere in the lower mainland and you will see many many houses in good neighbourhoods and bad have “cellar dwellars”.
How inflationary are these suites and what does it do for affordability to those (like me) who do not want a suite?
FYI I have been a renter and owner of basement suites.
What would happen if the various municipalities actually cracked down on basement suites?

bbcoq Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Also, What would happen if CRA cracked down on the income from suites?

Dydgi Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I hear things continue to weaken in the BC Interior and Sunshine Coast.

Any word from the burbs?

Devore Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I think that a lot of people in Vancouver who have paid off houses, or bought more than 10 years ago, would freely admit they could not afford to buy their houses today. That happens in certain neighborhoods to some extent from time to time, as demographics/trends/gentrification plugs along, but not a whole city, and not in such a short period of time.

I’m sure it’s probably nothing.

@bbcoq, having strangers living in your house (or back yard) is a perfectly normal way to make ends meet in a city like Vancouver. Also see: Victoria, Toronto.

July 11th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

no worries

July 12th, 2011 at 12:13 am

“What would happen if the various municipalities actually cracked down on basement suites?”
First you have to find them, then police them. The costs outweigh the benefit.
`How inflationary`
the equivalent value of a mortgage that the rental income will buy
`does it include rental income `
doubt it! who declares rental income from their home. the Fed`s recognize this as part of the $30 billion black market.
`What would happen if CRA cracked down on the income from suites`
see 2

Jross Says:
July 12th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

“who declares rental income from their home”

Law abiding citizens?

When did tax evasion become a socially acceptable practice?

Perhaps we should just ‘wink’ at grow-op income too?

July 12th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

be clear that was not approval but it was a statement of reality recognized at all levels.

Best place on meth Says:
July 12th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Only $182K income needed to buy a house in that blue-collar, working-class area known as East Van.

Yeah, this is going to last.

sallysmith Says:
July 12th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This is a great pic! Doesn’t it say something if 90% of the population couldn’t even afford to buy the house they currently own? If they can’t buy it…who in the future will be able to? (oh right, rich Asians).
As for basement suites, a house in my neighborhood (East Van), just sold for around $939k in less than 2 weeks. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. No suite!!! That theory doesn’t fly here….so whoever bought that house is looking at a massive mortgage with no rental income whatsoever. Or cash, I guess if you go with the “rich Asian” theory (which I don’t).

July 12th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

ummm have you seen the million dollar homes creeping your way? Check out a growing number of sales in the Main and Fraser neighbourhoods. Strap on your belt before you do 🙂
I’m starting to think the east side as we traditionally speak of it, starts at Victoria.

Hazu Chan Says:
July 12th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I’ve seen a recent 35 yr old Van Special that needs “TLC” east of Victoria go for nearly a million. You might need to restrict the traditional definition to the northeast sector!

BCF Says:
July 13th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

This map is so depressing for the younger generation I belong to.
I’ve worked my @ss off at University, got two masters, got a decent pay job (just above $100K), paid off my student loan and when I see that, I realize that if things remain the same, I will never be able to afford a house for my family (my wife, son and myself).

I guess I’m left with the option of accepting this situation or leaving the city. I like it here a lot, but at some point, I will need stability for my family, when my boy starts going to school.

Life is not fair, that’s ok. Life in Vancouver is particularly unfair compared to other cities. Middle class people like me are constantly beaten up and there’s a limit of “unfairness” that is acceptable. Vancouver has gone too fair beyond that limit…

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