The City issued 350 Laneway permits in 2012, that is a big increase from the average of 146 from 2009-2011! Laneway houses are one of the many ways homewowners help pay for their mortgages. With the new mortgage rules limiting what most people can afford, having a secondary source of income in your property, whether through laneway houses or secondary suites, is a natural move for most families. They can build the laneway house and rent it out until their family grows and needs the extra space. Many families are opting to share land, with one generation in the laneway house and the other inhabiting the main house. Laneway houses aren't costly to build, though the process can be long and quite involved, and you need to have the proper RS-1 or RS-5 Zoning to begin with.
For more information on the process of building a laneway house, see my Laneway guide here.
If you have any questions, or would like to chat about your possibilities with laneway houses and what you can afford, feel free to contact me.
Information taken from News 1130: http://www.news1130.com/2013/01/28/vancouver-boasts-record-year-for-laneway-housing-permits/