B.C.’s women disproportionately affected by home prices

by Ephraim Vecina02 May 2019

B.C.’s home affordability crisis is forcing more and more of the province’s young women into starting their families later in life, according to a recent survey by the University of Calgary.

“This is the province where hard work pays off the least for younger people in their prime childbearing years,” UBC professor and affordable housing advocate Paul Kershaw told CBC News.

The study found that the total number of mothers age 35-39 in the province has increased by 60% between 2000 and 2017.

B.C.’s mothers in the 40-44 age bracket have also doubled during the same time frame.

The trend has had a tangible impact in B.C.’s average age of first birth, which is now at 31.6 according to Statistics Canada. This is markedly higher than the 29.2 average nationally.

Kershaw added that compared to a generation ago, full-time incomes among B.C.’s working professionals fell the most nationwide. This drastic decline came as the province experienced the largest increase in housing prices during the same period.

In a new analysis, Zoocasa said that an individual or household needs to earn at least $205,475 to be able to purchase a Vancouver home at the benchmark price ($1,441,000), assuming a 20% down payment at a 3.75% mortgage rate on a 30-year term.

Condos, once considered a bastion of affordability, require an income of at least $93,527 for an individual or household to be able to buy a benchmark-cost unit ($656,900).


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