It’s no secret how expensive the Vancouver real estate market can be, but, it’s still better than Toronto’s according to online real estate broker TheRedPin.com. And it’s not only the aesthetics the company uses to define better.

Rokham Fard with the company does point out Vancouver’s curb appeal which is living near an ocean and the ample green space are nothing to sneer at.

The weather also means Vancouver’s sales season never really winds down, allowing significantly more viewings and potential buyers, but when it comes to the almighty dollar, there are some perks too.

“Despite the fact that prices tend to be more expensive on an average basis, they’re actually better if not on par with Toronto for first-time home buyers. So, getting your feet and actually becoming a homeowner — it might be slightly easier in Vancouver,” says Fard.

First time buyers in Vancouver spend an average of $420,000 compared with about $5,000 more in...

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Changes to mortgage rules mean that some home buyers in Metro Vancouver's hot housing market may soon get a break when it comes to their loan application.

Currently, home buyers with a deposit of less than 20 per cent are required to have their mortgage loan application approved and insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Starting this fall, CMHC plans to change the rules for those buyers to allow them to include projected income from secondary suites when they apply for a loan.

"CMHC will consider up to 100 per cent of gross rental income from a two-unit owner-occupied property that is the subject of a loan application submitted for insurance," the new rules state.

Additional conditions when home buyers wish to use these new rules include:

  • The income must have been sustained over at least two years.
  • The income amount must not exceed the average of the past two years, to address income fluctuations, smooth out cyclical trends and unexpected events such as vacancies....
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