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Delta throwback: House prices back in the day

Delta among those with biggest detached house price increases last year
delta throwback house prices
A typical real estate ad in the Delta Optimist in 2011.

Let’s do a throwback to before housing prices really shot through the roof and out of reach for many.

The 2020 numbers recently released by from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley Real Estate Board indicate another robust year despite COVID-19.

The REBGV notes that last year residential home sales in the region saw a 22.1 per cent increase from the sales recorded in 2019.

A single-family house in Ladner in December had a benchmark of $1,070,000, a 14.7 per cent increase from December 2019, while the benchmark for a house in Tsawwassen was $1,200,000, up 12.7 per cent from the previous year.

Over the decade, the benchmark for a house in Ladner increased just over 87 per cent, and just over 105 per cent in Tsawwassen.

The increase wasn’t quite as dramatic for condos, which increased 66 and 62 per cent in Ladner and Tsawwassen respectively.

For townhomes, the increase over the decade was 40 and 42 per cent in Ladner and Tsawwassen respectively.

With a lot of the talk about housing in Delta now focused on affordability, the city is undertaking a housing action plan.

“Delta lacks the spectrum of housing options and tenures needed to accommodate the projected demographics and needs of residents, particularly young adults and seniors wishing to stay in their community,” a civic report states.

A previous staff report noted that while there’s been a significant influx of housing in recent years, the additional supply is not curbing rising unaffordability.

A 2019 poll of B.C. residents  carried out by Ipsos for the Urban Development Institute found respondents in widespread support of new housing forms in traditionally single-family neighbourhoods. Seventy-four per cent believed home prices and rents remain high because there are too few housing options, while 70 per cent believed the actions of governments have not improved housing affordability.

UDI president and CEO Anne McMullin in an interview at the time noted townhomes were also getting out of reach for many entering the market, due in part to a limited supply in Delta and throughout the region.

“I totally understand that people want to maintain the character of their single-family neighbourhoods, but at the same time they have to realize our region is growing. We need to think more broadly as a community and talk about the benefits of growth. How do these people have homes?

“My view is that the best community is one that is diverse and has a diversity of people, of income levels, family makeup, but the only way to do that is to provide a diversity of housing options, rather than always fighting against higher density and development,” McMullin said.