Vancouver Laneway House Market Analyses the Year of 2020 – Series Two (What is the Key Conclusions of 10 Years LWH Development of Vancouver)

After 10 years of development, the laneway house has accumulated more than 4,000 sets of market stocks here in Vancouver. It has considerable sample conditions in both time and quantity. It is a proper time to do market research and draw some key conclusions. The following data is from The Urban Design and Sustainability report to the Vancouver City Council in 2018.

Key Conclusions of Vancouver Laneway House 10 Year Development

  • LWHs are creating important secondary rental housing stock and most are occupied as full-time homes;
  • Residents are choosing to live in LWHs because they are a more affordable detached housing option and they offer housing options in locations that are near their families and friends, jobs, schools, transit and other amenities;
  • Most occupants and owners of properties with an LWH are satisfied with their laneways;
  • Both owners and occupants expressed a desire to increase the allowable size of LWHs to enable better-configured interior space for livability, with many occupants noting that providing more storage space would improve laneway living; and
  • Property owners from the survey reported that most LWHs take less than 1.5 years to develop and cost under $300,000.

Problems and Suggestions for Improvement

  • The initial LWH Program regulations were created when this housing form was still relatively new and there was uncertainty as to how LWHs would fit with the existing neighbourhood and impact adjacent properties. Now that the Program is almost a decade old, LWHs have been integrated into most neighbourhoods and the industry is able to deliver a building type which is familiar and widely accepted by the public;
  • There is a general feeling that LWH requirements and regulations have become overly onerous and complex; there is a need for a better balance between competing citywide priorities (e.g. energy efficiency, accessibility, parking and tree retention);
  • The length of the review process directly impacts the cost to build LWH, so the City should look for ways to move towards an outright approval process;
  • The landscape review process was consistently cited as a source of frustration and delay; participants wanted the City to clarify and streamline this process to provide more certainty and avoid delay; and
  • Participants felt that additional relaxations and more flexibility in design would help LWH builders adapt to site-specific challenges; in particular allowing for minimal additional height (~2ft) as a change that would reduce the design challenges and simplify the construction of LWHs while having minimal impact on adjacent properties.

As the second part of the Vancouver Laneway House Truth and Analysis series, we summarize the core conclusions of the ten-year development of the LWH and the major issues and solutions for the development of the laneway house in the past ten years, and at the end of the article Got the basic information of the owners of Vancouver LWH. From this post, we can easily conclude that the main forces of the LWH in Vancouver have a family income of more than $80,000. The laneway house market has entered the construction fast lane from 2015, and the construction cost can be controlled at $300,000.

Next, we will share and analyze the core data of the back alley renters or occupants, so stay tuned.

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