First-time home buyers driving condo market
For years they were priced out. Renters who wanted to buy but couldn't afford skyrocketing home prices in Greater Vancouver.
More and more first-time buyers are now starting to grab that first rung on the property ladder.
For years, Aaron Van Gaver and his dog Sierra have been playing the waiting game
"When's a good time to get in? Do I wait another year? I want to get out of downtown," said Van Gaver. "I just want to make sure I don't miss an opportune time."
So he has now started house hunting
"It's really to take advantage of a buyers market right now," he said. "I am ready. I am ready -- it will happen sometime soon."
And people like Van Gaver are now driving the market.
"About 58 per cent of our sales in the last quarter have been the first-time buyer variety. We've seen a big spike segment of the market. Basically anything under $600,000," said Karel Palla of Re/max Select Properties.
All over Greater Vancouver prices have fallen about 15 per cent in a year.
If you want to break into the market in East Vancouver, 1,000 square foot condos start at $350,000. In the tri-cities they cost $223,000. Surrey condos start at $185,000, and down the highway in Chilliwack they are $155,000.
First-time buyers aren't only seeing new low prices. The federal government has just increased the amount they can take from their RRSPS from $20,000 to $25,000, and they can take advantage of a new $750 tax credit.
Other new incentives, low prices and low interest rates, are the perfect combination for first timers.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson.