How are soaring rents impacting Vancouver residents?

New report shines light on effect of surging cost of living

How are soaring rents impacting Vancouver residents?

Vancouver residents are grappling with diminishing happiness compared to counterparts across British Columbia, according to the newly released Canadian Social Survey and Quality of Life Framework.

Released last Friday, the data reveals a pervasive sense of discontent among Vancouverites, marked by a weakened sense of community belonging, diminished life satisfaction, deteriorating mental health, and dwindling hope for the future – all pointing to burdensome housing costs which are particularly impacting the city’s youth.

The data shows financial strain emerges as a pivotal factor corroding quality of life, exacerbated by soaring shelter expenses. Vancouver residents, on average, allocate nearly 30% of their disposable income towards housing expenditures, the report showed.

“Younger Canadians tend to face greater challenges than older age groups when it comes to shelter costs,” the report said.

Rental crisis pressuring youth

Across Canada, individuals aged 15 to 54 consistently reported lower quality of life indicators compared to their older counterparts, with youth aged 15 to 29 bearing the brunt of housing-related distress. The report highlights a stark reality: younger Canadians, who are more likely to rent, allocate a larger portion of their income towards housing costs, rendering them particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations and interest rate hikes.

Moreover, the data underscores a generational divide in homeownership trends, with Canadians aged 55 and over more likely to own their homes compared to younger demographics. For younger homeowners, the spectre of unpaid mortgages looms large, heightening their susceptibility to financial instability amidst rising interest rates, the report said.

The average rent for a two-bedroom suite in Vancouver soared to $2,200 per month—a sharp 8.5% increase over the past year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

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