$500K is no longer enough to buy a new condo in Vancouver, survey finds

The national survey was unable to find any new condos built for less than half a million dollars in Vancouver in 2017.

Report compares what half a million buys in several Canadian cities in 2017

A survey of new condo markets in major Canadian cities found Vancouver's market to be the tightest in the country, with no units available in the city for less than $500,000 in 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A national condo survey was unable to find any new condos selling for less than half a million dollars in Vancouver.

The survey, conducted by Atlus Group, compared what $500,000 would buy in new condo markets across Canada in 2017. Vancouver was the only city in which researchers were not able to find any units at that price point or below.

"Buyers would need to go into nearby markets like Burnaby to find projects offering one-bedroom units at this price point," reads a release from Atlus.

Buying power compared

In Burnaby, the survey found $500,000 would net buyers a new 450-square-foot one-bedroom condo.

The same budget would get buyers looking for a new home in Toronto a 430-square-foot one-bedroom unit. Buyers in Edmonton and Calgary could expect to find 1,000- and 900-square-foot two-bedroom units, respectively.

Buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area outside of Toronto — including cities like Kitchener and Hamilton — could also expect to find similarly sized new two-bedroom units.

Condo sales booming

The survey also compared condo sales totals, finding the Greater Toronto Area to be the hottest market overall in terms of sales volume with 36,429 new units sold in 2017 — a 25 per cent increase.

In Vancouver, that number was 10,939, a slight decrease over the previous year. But the researchers say that number accounts for a "remarkable" 90 per cent of all new homes built in the city in 2017.

"Vancouver is the tightest new condominium apartment market in the country and sales levels are not reflective of underlying demand, which remains very strong," the release adds.

Condo sales are also on the rise in Edmonton and Calgary, which the survey suggests is evidence of economic recovery in the two Alberta cities.

Sales were up 60 per cent in Edmonton and 42 per cent in Calgary. Researchers say the growth in Edmonton was mostly in the city's downtown core, while most of Calgary's growth was in the suburbs.

Sales volumes in those two cities still paled in comparison to Vancouver and the GTA, with only 1,289 and 2,084 units selling in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively.