You know how everyone wants to live in Vancouver right? Well apparently not so many of them are achieving that dream. Crabman posted these numbers in a comment last week putting our population growth in perspective when compared to a few other North American cities. That’s us over on the right in the graph above, with a measly 6.5% population growth over five years. The numbers come from Statistics Canada and the US Census Bureau.
Now what you’d expect with rapid population growth is higher prices for real estate, while anemic growth should result in slower appreciation. A couple of the quickest growing cities in this list are notable for their rapid rise in home prices: Las Vegas & Phoenix Arizona. Both cities saw a big run-up in prices until just a couple of years ago. As most of you know, prices in those cities have since corrected by as much as 50% despite their real population growth.
So what’s happening in Vancouver? We clearly haven’t had a tremendous increase in population compared to other North American cities, so what keeps the cost of our homes so high? Is the rain dissolving our buildings faster than we can construct them, thus keeping supply low? Are we just a whole lot richer than other cities or are we drunk on rampant speculation and easy credit?