A Vancouver house costs a lot more than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks

·2 min read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a reporter's question during a news conference April 16, 2021 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a reporter's question during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The benchmark price for a detached home in Vancouver rose to $1,800,600 in May.

That's a 22.8 per cent increase from May 2020, according to new data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). It's also much higher than what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to believe.

"In too many places, owning a home is too far out of reach," said Trudeau on Tuesday during a speech to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

"After all, how is a young family in somewhere like Vancouver supposed to put away enough money when regular houses cost upwards of a million dollars?"

Trudeau also says he's looking at ways to address housing affordability, including federal funding for municipalities.

Meanwhile, the data from the REBGV show a slowdown starting to happen on its own. While sales are up a whopping 187 per cent from May 2020, they are down 13 per cent compared to April 2021.

But the average price for all types of homes was up 1.5 per cent compared to the previous month, to $1,172,800.

Also See: The latest real estate news for housing prices, mortgage rates, markets, luxury properties and more at Yahoo Finance Canada.

New rules and higher rates for mortgages mean the market could slow even more in the coming months.

"With sales easing down from record peaks, a revised mortgage stress test that reduces the maximum borrowing amounts by approximately 4.5 per cent, and the average five-year fixed mortgage rates climbing back over 2 per cent since the beginning of 2021, we'll pay close attention to these factors leading into the summer to understand what effect they'll have on the current market cycle," said REBGV economist Keith Stewart.

More supply also came onto the market, with a 7.1 per cent increase in the number of homes for sale on the MLS system, compared to April 2021. But the REBGV says more housing supply is still needed.

"The seller's market conditions experienced throughout much of the pandemic highlight the need for increasing the volume and variety of housing supply across our region," said Stewart.

"Doing this requires a more disciplined focus on planning, reducing building costs, understanding demographic changes, and expediting the building approval process."

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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