03/26/2013 05:40 EDT | Updated 03/26/2013 05:49 EDT

Vancouver Housing Study Shows Suburbs Preference Over Downtown


If given $1 million, people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland would buy a big house with a yard in the suburbs ahead of a central luxury condo, a new survey has found.

More than a third of renters and homeowners surveyed in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley (34 per cent) said they would buy a suburban property with a hypothetical $1 million, "prefaced by the fact that the farther you move from the City of Vancouver, the less you pay," said in a news release on Tuesday.

That compares to 20 per cent who said they would choose a small detached house, 12 per cent who would buy a high-end condo in a city centre and 10 per cent who would purchase a city townhouse or duplex.

However, 23 per cent of respondents said they would keep the $1 million and rent.

Interviews with 561 people were done by Mustel Research Group and sponsored by, a real estate search website owned by Glacier Media Inc. between Feb. 28 and March 12. The survey has a 4.1 per cent margin of error.

"We were a bit surprised that, despite all the talk about densification and walkability, despite the fact that condos have taken over from houses in many parts of our region, the overwhelming choice was for a large house on a big suburban property," Elizabeth Wilson, content editor for REW, told The Vancouver Sun.

The study found that the most popular locations included Vancouver (28 per cent), Langley (12 per cent) and Burnaby (8 per cent).

An interesting finding came from the 18-34 demographic, which includes Gen Y; almost half (47 per cent) said they would prefer to buy a big house and property over all the other options.

But those who were 55 years old or older said they would not buy any property at all (37 per cent), choosing to keep the cash and rent instead.

Another study, called the Real Estate Consumer Confidence Survey, found that 54 per cent of residents think it's a good time to buy over the next three months because prices have come down or to take advantage of low interest rates.

Check out what kind of home $1 million will buy you in Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley:

Photo gallery What $1 Million Will Buy In B.C. (March 2013) See Gallery