A couple who went for a more cozy and far less expensive home in St. John’s exemplifies the growing number of “affordability refugees” who are fleeing Vancouver’s seemingly non-stop real estate price growth—and never looking back.
Initially looking for a house in Vancouver, carpenter John Duchow and his partner Marla Clarke were astonished at the continuous price increases in Canada’s most overheated market, which has outpaced their rate of savings.
They decided to look at the east coast city, where many of Duchow’s relatives resided.
“It was very nice to be able to come to a place where you can acquire a slightly larger piece of land or a house for a very affordable price in the grand scheme of things,” Duchow told CBC News
“I actually think the cost of living is pretty reasonable, considering that we can buy a house here — which we never would have been able to do in Vancouver — ever,” Clarke agreed.
The couple purchased a 2,500 square-foot, three-bedroom heritage home in St. John’s for just $310,000, over a million dollars less than what they would have spent for a similar property in Vancouver.
“It's crazy, the price difference here,” Clarke said.
And despite the less that optimistic economic predictions for Newfoundland and Labrador, Duchow remained positive about his work prospects as a carpenter.
“In spite of the state of the economy and where it appears to be going, it seems like everybody — who's in my profession, at least — is quite busy,” he stated.
In the wake of the 15 per cent foreign home buyers’ tax passed by the B.C. government last month, the Conference Board of Canada recently revealed that the average home sales price in Vancouver plummeted by 6.9 per cent year-over-year in August, down to $846,244.
Observers warned that concerns about the effects of foreign capital on home price fluctuations remain, however, especially since foreign investors are now eyeing other more affordable Canadian markets.
Vancouver, Toronto not ideal for pension plans - academic
B.C. numbers show drops in foreign property buyers since targeted tax