Vancouver: The Last of the Really Great Real Estate Bubbles

Ben said, “Excuse me, but I don’t think I have heard of a Whangdoodle, sir.”

The remarkable-looking gentleman smiled, leaned on his umbrella, and crossed one small foot over the other.

“That’s not surprising. It’s an extremely rare creature. In fact, I believe there is only one left in the world world.”
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews

Lengthy and surreal piece today in the Globe & Mail on the bizarre, pink-tufted majesty of the last of the really great real estate bubbles: Vancouver BC. An excerpt:

UBC geographer David Ley has attempted to address the question of “Who’s buying these places?” in a different way, checking sales data for Vancouver neighbourhoods against variables like interest rates, unemployment levels and house construction—none of which correlated well. Instead, the strongest indicators of price movement were related to international investment and immigration. The arrival of other Canadians from elsewhere in the country actually dampened prices. The same effect showed up when Ley widened his lens to Greater Vancouver: The highest values occurred in areas with high immigrant populations and a predominant Chinese ethnicity. So Vancouver may be the first North American city where the phrase “there goes the neighbourhood” should be uttered when a Caucasian moves in next door.

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