2016 sees the $1-million dividing line between west and east Vancouver obliterated by rising property values

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      Each late winter or early spring, Bing Thom Architects publishes an analysis of single-family home values in the City of Vancouver.

      For the past four years, graphic representations of data collected by the firm has revealed a stark division between the city’s west side, where just about every property is valued at more than $1 million, and the east side, where most were worth less than $1 million.

      That line has historically run along Main Street, with some overlap for several blocks east to Fraser Street.

      For the first time, the fifth map in this series breaks from that pattern.

      “In 2016, the $1 million line for single family homes has effectively disappeared in the City of Vancouver,” wrote Bing Thom Architect’s Andy Yan. “From the 2016 Assessment, 91% of all single family properties in the city have total assessment over $1 million compared to 65% in 2015.”

      Yan (@Ayan604 on Twitter) is the firm’s senior urban planner and was recently named acting director of Simon Fraser University’s city program.

      Total property values for single-family homes assessed in 2015. Properties worth more than $1 million appear in red while properties worth less are blue.
      Bing Thom Architects

      He attributes the rapid rise in the values of properties across the city to a variety of factors.

      “Some supply side reasons include the decades-long redefinition and allowance of single family homes by the City from one unit to two and three units and the constrained stock of single family homes in the City of Vancouver and lack of adequate and affordable housing types for families with children in the general,” he writes. “It is important to note that many properties in the west/southwest corner of the city have tended to be larger than other single family parcels in other parts of the City. On the demand side, the low cost of borrowing over the last decade, the effect of global capital entering the residential market of the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, a growing City population, speculative purchase behavior, a cultural and financial predisposition/obsession to home ownership versus renting and generational wealth transfer have all shaped the values of residential property. It is a combination and compounding alignment of these factors and others that have likely produced the value assessment escalation patterns in the City of Vancouver.”

      That analysis continues at Bing Thom Architect’s website in a January 27 post titled, “The End of the $1 million Line for Single Family Homes in the City of Vancouver”.