The economy in this city is broken. I can no longer count on two hands the number of friends and coworkers who have left to find better opportunity elsewhere in the last few years. As Vancouver Magazine points out, it’s what young ambitious people are doing right now. Vancouver is squeezing the middle class out.
Around January 2002, the average price of a detached house in Metro Vancouver was $390,000. That has since nearly tripled to $1.1 million. For those who couldn’t or didn’t buy in—who were outbid, came late to the party, or sat it out waiting for a massive market correction—real estate has been a dismal science. This July, the MLS listed only 24 two-bedroom condos for sale under $300,000. That’s the maximum mortgage available to a household earning the median family income; Vancouver proper has about 30,000 renter households in that category. The story of real-estate affordability here can be told in that one stat: in a city of over 600,000 people, two dozen bottom-of-the-barrel starter condos available for sale to the middle class.