How much does the drug economy in Vancouver drive up prices? I was sceptical about it’s impact until I read this recent article in Vancouver Magazine:
Cam Hui was stunned when he moved back to his hometown after a stint on the East coast. “This city is not overrun with the super-rich,” he says. “But you can’t get into the Vancouver West Side for less than $1.5 million for something that’s not falling down.” In Stamford, Connecticut, where Hui, an investment counsellor, lived previously, prices were just as high. But there it was understandable. The place was infested with people working in the investment business. Stamford has the head office of GE Capital, and, with Swiss bank UBS, the world’s largest trading floor.
Hui doesn’t see that level of financial activity here; nor does he buy the standard explanation for Vancouver’s real-estate prices: that offshore investment or Asian money is largely responsible. In a private blog, he argues that there has to be a connection to the drug industry. “And just putting my economist’s hat on, if it winds up back in the local economy, it creates inflation.” He, by the way, has not bought here because Vancouver’s market is so crazy. He rents instead.
Read the full article here.