Sunday, April 14, 2024

B.C. real estate: What will $1 million buy you in Canada?

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House-hunting in Vancouver with a million bucks won’t get you far.

A new Royal LePage report examined what $1 million — give or take $50,000 — can get you across Canada and found that budget in Vancouver won’t even get you two bedrooms.

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What $1 million will get you in the city: About 900 square feet, 1.8 bedrooms, and 1.6 bathrooms. That’s about 287 square feet less than the average property in Metro Vancouver and 860 square feet less than the average property in Canada.

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Homebuyers in Metro Vancouver could get more square footage going out of Vancouver into the suburbs. In Metro Vancouver, the average square footage of a $1 million home is about 1,187 square feet.

In comparison, homebuyers in Edmonton, where $1 million will stretch the farthest, can get an average square footage of 2,675 square feet, which translates to 3.3 bedroom and 2.8 bathrooms.

In Vancouver, generally prices have doubled every 10 years since the 1980’s, said Royal LePage West realtor Adil Dinani.

“What $1 million is today is where $500,000 got you a decade ago.”

A million today could get you a one-bedroom downtown, or a two-bedroom condo elsewhere in the city, or a townhouse in the Fraser Valley.

“In the heart of Metro Vancouver you’re certainly not able to access detached homes anymore which is unfortunate,” said Dinani. “The reality is the flight to affordability and more space is across the bridge (to the Fraser Valley).

“And we know if we go to Alberta, for example, the opportunities are much more vast in the $1 million range.”

While $1 million could have bought a decent-sized property in desirable neighbourhoods in almost any market in previous years, over time the purchasing power of $1 million has eroded in some cities leading to more discrepancies between cities, said Karen Yolevski, COO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

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“Depending on the market that you are shopping in, a $1-million home can mean something very different,” she said in a statement.

“In Calgary, a budget of $1 million is considered the move-up price point for existing homeowners. In Vancouver, the same amount is often the starting point for entry-level buyers.”

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Toronto, like Vancouver, ranked below the national average, with a million bucks only getting an average of 1,218 square feet.

That money would buy at least 2,000 square feet in Canada’s other metropolitan centres, including 2,093 square feet in Montreal, 2,179 square feet in Calgary, 2,303 square feet in Ottawa, and 2,543 in Halifax.

The report also looked at homes in the $2 million range, which in Vancouver, can buy a 1,427-square foot, three-bed, 2.4-bath home — about 1,000 square feet smaller than the national average.

The discrepancy in purchasing power means British Columbians are more likely to say $1 million is not enough to buy them a home to meet their household needs.

About 45 per cent of British Columbians said $1 million is inadequate, according to a survey conducted by Leger for Royal LePage. In Ontario, that figure is 31 per cent.

It’s a different story in the other provinces, where less than 12 per cent say $1 million isn’t enough: Alberta (12 per cent), Quebec (eight per cent), Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada (seven per cent).

Here’s what about $1 million can buy you across Canada

Vancouver, B.C.

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North Vancouver, B.C.

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Quebec City, Que.

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Toronto, Ont.

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Bedford, Nova Scotia

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Calgary, Alta.

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Edmonton, Alta. 

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