Speakers at a housing forum sponsored by the Urban Development Institute brought a measure of common sense to the often-overheated rhetoric about housing prices in Metro Vancouver.
As they pointed out, the price of townhouses and condominium apartments in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area (which includes Langley) has actually fallen since 2008. Only the price of detached homes is rising.
The significant change is the development of a two-tier market. There is one market for detached homes, no matter what size the lot, and another for multi-family units. The gap between the two has risen from $200,000 in 2009 to between $300,000 and $400,000 today. It continues to widen.
In some ways, this should not be a surprise. Ever since the Agricultural Land Reserve was created in 1972, there have been significant limits on land available for urban development. Up until recent years, there has been enough supply available. But that has changed.
Much of Surrey has been developed, and there are pockets in other communities such as Langley Township and Maple Ridge which can be developed — but not too many.
As long as people keep moving to this area and the local economy is able to supply enough jobs for them, the two-tier market is likely to remain.
Owning a detached home in the future will be available mostly to the well-to-do.