It’s no secret that it’s been a seller’s market in Vancouver when it comes to real estate. These past couple of years, we’ve seen prices skyrocket on even the most modest of developments, spurring on more and more condos. The building boom has been huge, shifting entry-level suites from the mid 100ks to the low 300ks. In fact, even when you look into the surrounding areas like Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, Surrey, and so on, prices there for a simple 600ish square foot condo start in the $250,000 range. That’s no small sum. But it seems that things are finally starting to shift.

As we gear up for the 2010 Winter Olympics, I fully expect the condos to keep going up (along with the prices), but a recent report has indicated that, compared to last year, we have started seeing a change. Last year, there were far more potential buyers than there were available units, but the reverse appears to be true, if only by a small margin. It won’t become a buyer’s market any time soon, but this latest report predicts a more “even” playing field wherein neither buyers nor sellers have an outright advantage.

Outside investors are still happily picking up apartments and condominiums with the plan to flip them for a profit, as interest rates appear to be staying steady (or possibly even dropping), buyers will continue to flock the market. Somehow, I don’t see prices coming down in the near future.

This can’t be good for people like me. It is impossible for someone on a single income to be able to purchase a house in Vancouver (the average price is something like $700k), and even an intermediary like a modest one bedroom apartment seems to be a stretch. I don’t want to rent.

I read some place that the average household income in the Vancouver area these days is about $60,000 (most likely with both partners working), with nearly 40% of that going straight toward a mortgage. That’s pretty hefty. How can you afford to live in Vancouver? Factor in the costs of our daily lattes, trendy cell phones, and high fashion clothing, and you’ve left yourself without dinner on the table. And of course, we all need our huge plasma TVs too, right?

They say that we are now the second most expensive city in Canada to live in (I think you guess who’s number one), but we are one of, if not the most “livable”… whatever that means.

Sigh. You’ve got to pay to play, I suppose. Or wait until post 2010 when the prices will surely plummet.