Who Rules Vancouver’s Real Estate Game?

The city’s stratospheric housing prices are a bust for some while a boon for others.

October 13, 2015

By Kerry Gold

Aging boomers have got to be the biggest beneficiaries of Vancouver’s ongoing property bonanza. This past July, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported an 11 percent increase in property prices over last, and the number of sales had increased by a whopping 30 percent. Who’s better poised to cash out than the boomers who bought into the market 30-plus years ago?

Their vast wealth has shaped the retirement market in a variety of ways. Some are taking their millions and upsizing with bigger houses in far cheaper locales, such as the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. The more urban boomers are downsizing in style, with the purchase of a high-end downtown condo or a contemporary townhome in West Vancouver. They’re also starting to look to North Vancouver, where there’s slightly more luxury-bang for their buck.

And for retirees who are really looking ahead, there’s the aging-in-place concept, which has driven retirement projects around the Lower Mainland to offer a spectrum of luxury services from in-house movie theatres, yoga classes, educational seminars, and gourmet organic diets to later-stage nursing care. It’s not for the budget-oriented senior, mind you. Monthly rentals can easily run $4,000 to $10,000 and beyond, and that doesn’t include the add-on costs like field trips.

With nursing homes on the host list, demand for seniors’ housing is going to spike. Seniors want luxury more than ever before, and developers are filling the void.

Not everyone is settling in the Lower Mainland. When it’s time to cash out, where will you go? Here are a few options:

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