Livin’ la vida poco

There’s an article in the National Post titled something grand about going small. Canadians are living in ever-larger houses, except in vancouver where they’re living in ever-smaller condos. The example in the article is counselor Gordon Prices’ west end apartment that is around 1100 square feet “which makes it about half the size of the average Canadian home.”

Vancouverites are used to making do with less. Most have no choice; the city is sandwiched between water and mountains, and real estate here is astronomically priced, the highest in Canada. Traditional single-family homes — even small bungalows — cannot be had for less than $500,000, making them unattainable for even moderately high-income earners.

Figures released last week indicate that detached bungalows in Vancouver sell for an average of $758,000; in Toronto, they sell for an average of $387,744.

Other Canadians may wonder how people in Vancouver could possibly cope inside such small homes; Mr. Price’s apartment is actually a generous size, by West End standards. And his neighbourhood has one of the highest population densities in North America, with about 20,000 people per square kilometre. That is more than four times the density of Montreal, one of Canada’s oldest and most congested cities.

I’m glad they point out that 1100 square feet is actually a large west end apartment – interesting that they don’t mention the sub-500 square foot ultra tiny condo’s that are going in to many new towers downtown.

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folhaseca
folhaseca
13 years ago

Good thing they dropped cat swinging fromthe 2010 games at the last minute.

digi
digi
13 years ago

Warren, I agree with your feelings on sprawl, but I wish there was more affordable family space in Vancouver – it seems like everything they're building now is on the small side, and I think 900 sq feet or so is probably the smallest you'd want to raise a family in. I know people can do it in less space, and its a personal issue, thats just the size that I don't feel squeezed into.

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

mike:McMansions in the uber-burbs of large US cities make me want to wretch.Been to Calgary lately?No, I imagine its bad there. I didn't mean to say only the US was bad, its just the worst example. There's plenty of bad examples in the FV. Its doubly troubling when they are eating up good farmland for big inefficient houses.blueskies:sprawl is not sustainable, you can't bring your commute times out to near infinityAgreed. Energy prices can't rise fast enough. Gas should be taxed like tobacco.

blueskies
blueskies
13 years ago

Ah yes, let's solve a short-term problem (RE speculation) with a long term problem (overdevelopment).sprawl is not sustainable, you can't bring your commute times out to near infinity

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

McMansions in the uber-burbs of large US cities make me want to wretch.Been to Calgary lately?"Allowing single-family residential development outside urban growth areas in counties where the first-time home buyers housing affordability index shows that housing is not affordable."Ah yes, let's solve a short-term problem (RE speculation) with a long term problem (overdevelopment).

Drachen
Drachen
13 years ago

When all else fails, legislate prices to be more reasonable!From our friendly neighbours in the evergreen state. If house prices are getting out of hand just open up any and all land to development! The Washington state Realtor's association supports it so how could it NOT be good for the public at large…http://tinyurl.com/2c328pFor those who don't want to read the whole thing the digest says."Allowing single-family residential development outside urban growth areas in counties where the first-time home buyers housing affordability index shows that housing is not affordable."

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

The obvious answer as to why this is happening here is the price. However I'm much more in favour of this "European" style of living smaller in size and ecological footprint. McMansions in the uber-burbs of large US cities make me want to wretch.Not having grown up in a single family home with a white picket fence, I'm not missing anything. I lived in a 420sf shoebox in Yaletown without any problem (alone of course). I now live with my girlfriend, dog, and cat, in about 1000sf in east van, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Its plenty of space, although we know that anything we buy will not be as large.