A lament on affordability

Scullboy sent in a link to this CBC editorial on housing affordability in Vancouver. Its written by a boomer who grew up here and is essentially a lament about the loss of affordability that the current generation is facing. Here’s a few select excerpts:

No one that I grew up with could afford to buy a house in that neighbourhood now and move back in. In my parents’ day, there was typically only one wage earner per family, and now there are two, and still, middle income, middle-class couples cannot afford to buy a house in the city. It is obvious that wages have not kept pace with the inflated price of housing.

Actually, I don’t know anyone who can afford to buy a house in the Lower Mainland (B.C.) anymore, unless they lock themselves into 30- to 50-year mortgages, and do nothing but work overtime for the duration.

This situation has to bottom out sometime. But right now, there is a whole generation of young Canadians who have no hope of owning their own place in a major city. Young doctors are turning down job offers in Vancouver because they can’t afford the housing.

The thing is, everyone buys property with the idea it will increase in value, and they will get more out of it in the end than they put in. This equation has been more or less manageable for generations. But there must be a breaking point, and I think we’re almost there.

Banks, which have been making hefty fortunes on all the mortgages on any given house, new owner after new owner, may start to worry about this soon. The bottom-out factor has already started in the USA, and will arrive here too.


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I actually want to clarify myself. I also believe like the majority of you that RE in Vancouver can't possibly sustain itself given it's current growth. However, I do own properties but have no problem seeing them decrease in value because I have two daughters and many nieces/nephews whom I would love to see own homes in Vancouver if they wish to do so in the not too distant future. After reading several weeks of this blog, I'm starting to see there are several losers within both bulls & bears. I will also contend that most of these "losers" here have no ability to take advantage of decreases when it does come. As I have no "data" to support my hypothesis, I can only rely on the bullshit that's being spouted by them.


you guys are a bunch of losers Holy Shit!


"You are truly retarded and if you are the voice of the Bulls then the housing sector is in serious trouble."

Yes I would say he is a typical bull, uneducated, full of themselves, high paid no work leeches on the community! :-). I made a comment where I compared him to a blathering idiot panhandler…I need to apologize…to the panhandler! 🙂


Comment by krrish1

2008-02-22 08:00:45

smart guy i will be able to respond to you in friday free on sat or sun.

So you have time to write a bunch more nonsense, but no time to back up your retarded statements?

You are truly retarded and if you are the voice of the Bulls then the housing sector is in serious trouble.


Krish, you never answered the question about wages increasing with housing costs.

You said you'd answer today you retarded gimp.


WELL, if you don't know what is Network and how it works then stop beating your head on the wall.


Then how did you reach here?same way other people reached here that's what we call network that connect people worldwide.

Do you know where is putta perthy(a name of place)?..

Ask your same Question to British Explorer and European Settlers thank you sweet pie.



I repeat NOBODY KNOWS VANCOUVER, YOU FRIGGIN' IDIOT. If all this networking is going on, why doesn't anyone know about Vancouver?

I *really* hope your wife slaps some sense into you when the market crashes. Seriously. I also sincerely hope you lose whatever investment you have in your place. You and people like you richly deserve a scalping.


You don't have to own a home to live here. Even if it were the best place on earth, you can rent for half of what it costs to own. Hell, you could own somewhere like Miami and rent here.

So even if you're right about Van's supreme awesomeness, it still doesn't mean that it makes financial sense to own as opposed to renting.


smart guy i will be able to respond to you in friday free on sat or sun.


".Economy is rocking wages are growing same thing you have been reading again and again"

Please refresh my memory.

How much have wages risen in comparison to housing costs in the past thirty years?

Have wages risen faster than housing costs?


"Own at your peril."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, get my vote for the slogan for the current environment.


So Dosh and Krrish, how can “everyone” want to move here, if they don’t know where “here” is?

Network:through network people come to know about places,through network it is easy to get job,through network it is easy to get good deal on mortgage,through network affordability can't be better than this, look at the INTEREST RATES almost touching the bottom line and another cut is coming soon after that there is hardly more slot remaining.no government or financial institute offer interest free loan.Economy is rocking wages are growing same thing you have been reading again and again.


to -A-

I got that as soon as you said it – well, at least he's keeping busy


"the kind of nice, new starter condos" matter of opinion I would say seeing as I make my living trying to make these places function for a few years…my opinion… poorly built…. hundreds of major building code violations, cheap! cut corners everywhere, sloppy or non existant workmanship…a consultants dream makin lots of bucks!


It takes having two good incomes paying a mortgage for 40 years to be able to finance a cheaply constructed one-bedroom shoebox in Vancouver.

Or you can live in the same condo by renting and pull it off with one slightly above-average income.

Do the math, boys and girls. Own at your peril.


SFMIke ,

your comment is one of it's kind and answer to those who sing different tunes by chewing self made examples.

fwiw your comment is much appreciated thanks for your time, hope to read you again.

Special:Hi-5-2 SFMIke.


ladyblue, the american is a product of Satv's imagination who is a product of Rob's imagination inspired by Mordecai Richler.


SFMIke "Let me offer some perspective as an American who owns 3 downtown condos." That would be a good perspective considering the good judgement Americans have used on there own economy. 🙂


lol! as long as it's not the Patullo!


Unaffordability is an issue that is not confined to Vancouver, I hear the same comments about SF, LA, and NYC. I think it’s a general global problem.

You forgot to complete the paragraph:

And that's exactly the reason why RE prices are tanking in SF, LA, and NY, and right across the USA, and in some places in Europe already. To be followed by just about the whole world, including Vancouver. Only exceptions being the places that saw no bubble or where the bubble has already popped, like Germany and Japan. And most of Eastern Canada.


ladyblue, would you like a great deal on a bridge?


SFMike – I can't help but ask – do you actually live here?


Let me offer some perspective as an American who owns 3 downtown condos. Vancouver is an absolutely fantastic place to live, (especially when compared to most places in the US). It will ALWAYS attract foreign money due to its beauty, good government, and friendly atmosphere. Personally, with the CAD at parity, I probably won't be buying again for a while, and I think that's true for a lot of Americans. Unaffordability is an issue that is not confined to Vancouver, I hear the same comments about SF, LA, and NYC. I think it's a general global problem. I will say, however, that even though Vancouver is expensive, the kind of nice, new starter condos (500 sq ft or so) that you can find in Vancouver does NOT exist in SF or NY. It's not great for a family, of course,… Read more »


That was the first Krrish1 post I have ever read… and it's gonna be the last.

Numbers will be up in 15 mins.


Lager not Logger,

well said!and that was me above!


WOW,WOW,WOW a bearish blog survey hook you guys up!good move filed with false agression. bears are on ignorance and always bounce the ball back on opponents! who cares?keep on deny the fact now you got another link from 'Richard' then start throwing insult on immigrants. Every other person here is immigrant except some genuine people but because of globlization you can see this movie in all the metropolitian cities of this world. So if Donald Trumph invest in China and British Columbia sign free trade with asian countries that sounds good every thing else is a bs right? Stop complaining when we talk about affordability every single bear is in affordable situation but you guys keep desire to reside in some perticular area. Do not loose your option on false predictions. Always be in line on right time and right… Read more »