Small Vancouver rentals support affordable housing for young citizens

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Rising residential and condominium home prices have forced some Vancouver residents to consider renting instead of buying, and housing developers have designed some units specifically for young citizens on a budget.

According to a Vancouver Sun report, project developer Reliance Properties recently converted an old hotel into a residential building containing Canada's smallest apartments. The 30 furnished units are between 226 and 291 square feet, and include a kitchen, bathroom, built-in wall bed, fold-down table and flatscreen TV.

"The suites are highly designed to be functional at this small size," said Reliance president Jon Stovell, as reported by the source. "They live here, they play here and they walk to work and that's what it's for. The building has no parking spaces. Most people don't want it."

The report said most tenants are between 25 and 35 years old, an age group in need of affordable housing as home prices have increased despite slow income growth and a tough job market for recent college graduates.

Vancouver continues to have the highest housing prices in Canada, prompting condominium buying and renting to increase. According to a recent Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board report, November sales were 5.8 below the 10-year average.

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