Google Trends: Vancouver and the Real Estate Bubble

A comment here reminded me that I hadn’t updated in some time my frivolous use of Google Trends to check the real estate bubble. Recall, a year ago I posted the top normalized cities for Google searches for “real estate crash”. This time I did something similar, albeit changing to “real estate bubble”, which is a higher volume search than is “crash”.

It’s interesting that Vancouver, Canada, leads the results, even ahead of Irvine, California. Is this just a schadenfreude search out of Vancouver, or is bubble fear there truly the highest in North America?


  1. the bubble fear here is truly the highest in North America, and has been for (at least) the past fifteen years.

  2. Hey Divesh
    Fat lot of good all that fear has done then as a leading indicator :-)

  3. an interesting stat…if only the blogger was still around to educate and entertain the masses, then no one would have to search for this type of information. The problem is the local media doesn’t provide negative coverage of the housing market, which likely leads many to search out other news sources on the Internet.
    By the way, Vancouver ranked #6 in the globalpropertyguide’s list of the most overpriced cities in the world.

  4. An RBC study on housing affordability in Q2 shows Vancouverites in single-family homes are paying 70% of their gross income on housing costs while double-digit growth in prices continues. Seems like fears of a bubble might be well-founded:

  5. Hi Paul,
    A “Canadian” (Alberta, not B.C.) on a message board I frequent told me about this situation about a week ago. I was surprised by it too – he claims Vancouver is totally unaffordable so it seems to be in other places than the US. The UK is also looking very similar to the US in terms of # of subprime (10% to 25% last year), and # of no doc loans. Only difference is far less land in UK than Canada and/or US.
    But its bigger (more widespread) than we think… this real estate issue…

  6. Bulging Bracket says:

    Problem with Vancouver is that there are so many natural restrictions on growth, so many natural attractions of population (climate & mountains for both), and they have the Winter Olympics in 2 years… Overpriced, but likely not going down anytime soon.