Ambitious people leaving Vancouver

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.

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pricedoutfornow
Guest
pricedoutfornow

Not only leaving, some are just plain staying away. I've talked to people from other parts of Canada who say that sure, they wouldn't mind living in Vancouver, but WTF is up with the property prices? That idea sure gets shelved in a hurry when they take a quick look at MLS!

chilled
Member
chilled

The title is an oxymoron at best. Ambitious people NEVER WERE attracted to Vancouver. BC has always been the hardest place for an honest working stiff to make it, for many reasons, one reason being how overly complicated and political the workplace is here, compared to many other places in the country. Not so long ago all we heard about was the lack of skilled workers, the sky is falling, now skilled workers are leaving in droves? Good, I could use a job and a raise. I just wish this place could make up its mind once in a while.

ReadyToPop
Guest
ReadyToPop

One of the cities mentioned in the featured article was San Diego. Well here's the situation there now. My personal opinion is that cheap money and easy terms have inflated RE here more than anything else and it is impossible to make a "Vancouver will never be affordable again" prediction until we're living in a more normal monetary environment.

———————————————–

Foreclosure numbers in San Diego County likely reached their peak nearly two years ago, when banks seized almost 6,000 homes in a single month. But they still remain at near-record highs — far above those during the recession of the early 1990s — and the Anderson economists do not see them falling soon.

 SD economy will 'grind along' through 2013

VMD
Guest
VMD

[Victoria October Stats are out]

Greater Victoria – Residential units

Year- Sales/Inventory: MOI

2011- 461 / 4687 : 10.2

2010- 445 / 4050 : 9.1

2009- 691 / 3250 : 4.7

SFH – Average / Median Price (Greater Victoria)

2011-10: 595,836 / 539,750

2011-09: 622,393 / 535,000

2011-08: 652,841 / 547,000

2011-01: 603,401 / 576,000

2010-12: 647,063 / 574,750

2010-11: 636,634 / 530,000

2010-10: 641,780 / 539,500

Since December 2010, Greater Victoria SFH average price dropped 51k (-8%), while median price dropped 35k (-6%)

http://www.vreb.org/pdf/vrebgap.pdf

lol cats
Guest
lol cats

how is a teacher in mid thirties ambitious. what a load of crap. nice arts degree bud…way to shoot for the stars.

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

@chilled: "overly complicated and political the workplace is here, compared to many other places in the country."

I'm curious what you mean.

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

@lol cats: Yeah, he should have taken Engineering. Then he could do tech support in a Shaw call centre. Now that's a career.

chilled
Member
chilled
@Patiently Waiting: "I’m curious what you mean." I've worked across the country and in the US a bit. If you can work in BC you can work anywhere. What I mean is we have a backstabbing work culture driven by less jobs, lower paying jobs, overall, a society of careless unhappy people that we have to work with. Have a good day at the office, just keep your back to the wall!! As soon as there is any relief from this, in the form of increasing job opportunities, government, business and the turds and CanWest Global start a propaganda campaign encouraging the need for "more workers." Idiots in the public quickly jump on board because "it was on the news." I think this last campaign hasn't even wrapped up yet? How long ago was the Lieberal government running ads in… Read more »
midnite toker
Member
midnite toker

@Patiently Waiting: Haha So true

byebyerainycity
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byebyerainycity

Can't see my post, is this all going to /dev/null ?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

City urges speculators to cool it as housing market heats up along Cambie corridor

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/City+urges+specul

jesse
Member

@chilled: I found office politics worse back east. YMMV

jesse
Member

Hey… listings in November are still high. Yesterday saw 229 new listings, which blew away November 2010's highest listing day by 20% out of the gate. What's the deal with that?

katherine with a k
Guest
katherine with a k
Interesting read, thanks! Ironically, I left Vancouver earlier this year to work in Germany. People are still shaking their heads as to why I left as I had a decent job (also above the average) and kept telling me to buy (even though mortgage would have been 2.5 times my rent) I now live in Germany where renting isn't frowned upon and my rent combine with car payment is just under a third of my take home monthly salary. There are a zillion challenges to living here, but affordable living is NOT one of them. What's interesting though about German real estate is that the word bubble is never thrown around. Housing prices go up very slowly (a bit beyond inflation so it seems) so no one's getting rich, but no one's losing their shirt either. You buy a house… Read more »
scullboy
Member
@katherine: I'm right there with you, at least metaphorically. I left Vancouver for a lot of reasons. I had 2 career streams to choose from, IT/management and culinary. To be honest I couldn't find a job in either, and neither could a lot of my culinary school buddies. Most of them left Vancouver. I left 2 years ago almost to the day and I've had a much easier time of it since then. I've climbed the ladder quickly, going from a technical consultant to Morgan Stanley ro a technical project management role, and currently I'm a senior business analyst specializing in cloud based IT solutions, specifically Salesforce related engagements. My salary has climbed accordignly. While I'm making very good money now, it wouldn't be enough to even consider purchasing even a shit shack in Van. While I found Vancouver beautiful,… Read more »
patriotz
Member

@scullboy:

Well I guess it's time to come out of the closet and tell everyone I have left too. Not to become a homeowner again, which I don't aspire to in the near future, but for better job opportunities and quality of life.

But I'll keep following things, because as you say, it's fascinating – in a repulsive sort of way, like Eraserhead.

I'll put together a post on my new city shortly.

scullboy
Member

@patriotz:

Now all I can think about is Bob Rennie in a white 50s style dress with swollen puss filled cheeks dancing by a radiator and singing "In Yaletown, Everything is Fine" while worms drop all around him. 🙂

I don't think I'm going to buy, either. It's not about prices any more. in the last five years I've changed cities 3 times for work, and I doubt things are going to change. There's a competitive advantage in one's career if one can say "I can change cities with no problem, just day the word". A house is not longer a storehouse of value, it's an anchor.

At least for me.

Noname
Guest
Noname

Hi katherine with a k,

Can you please talk a little more about the challenges you are facing Germany?

I am considering making a move to Europe and I am looking for any insights.

Btw, I have just returned to Vancouver after being away for a year and half and it never cease to amaze me how it always feels like I am returning to a 3rd world country. The city (and I don't mean West side or yaletown) just looks rundown and its people look downright poor (superficially at least).

Noname

observer
Guest
observer

@jesse: I seem to remember a similar thing happening in 2008 – listings exploded well before Lehman blew up (started around the time Bear-Sterns had hints of problems). The cycle is a little off this time though, but suggests investors are off loading before sovereign defaults occur in Europe and/or the FTB market seizes when it hits the limits of affordability at current low rates.

Overlord
Guest
Overlord

Uh oh bears…

Biggest bear of them all has left Vancouver…

Patriotz has left the building…

Sad day when the most ardent bear demonstrates its a lost cause for bears in Vancouver by leaving the city…

Pesky bears – please follow the example..

Make way for your HAM overlords…plenty of them waiting for you to leave…

katherine with a k
Guest

@noname

I could go on and on about the language, work culture and general bureacracy of things, but the 6 weeks a year vacation and overall affordability/quality of life almost makes up for the fact that I drive thru the farm fields of Bavaria to get to work. (not sure if it'll show up but put a link for my blog if you'd like to read more)

Noname
Guest
Noname

Thanks katherine with a k,

I'll have a read.

Looks like there is quite a bit to go through 🙂

Noname

jesse
Member

@observer: There wan no hint in the inventory or sales numbers in 2007 that 2008 was going to see the most dramatic housing recession in a generation. It even caught "bears" off guard how it went down, surpassing the worst downturn of prices stateside.

That is until mid 2009 when stimulus kicked in and all of Canada got a jolt; as well a high level if immigration helped absorb inventory relatively quickly.

The level of inventory Vancouver is seeing now is higher than past years, I am looking for a higher inventory in spring 2012 only due to lower population growth and increased under construction that will come online in early spring.

I don't expect a giant housing recession like '08 but remember '07 showed no ill signs either!

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

Another credit to the real estate "profession". 😛

"The Real Estate Council of B.C. has launched an investigation after a licensed agent was charged last week in a gangland kidnapping.

Nazfar Victoria Mirhadi, 28, a realtor since December 2006, is to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court today for a bail hearing."

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Realtor+Nazfar+Mirhad

Runawayscreaming
Guest
Runawayscreaming
Vancouver was never a career mecca but up until a few years ago it was possible to survive in Vancouver on Vancouver wages. I always loved the Vancouver weather, the multicultural nature of the city and the hopes and dreams for an urban utopia by the sea. That all ended when speculation went wild. Of course real estate prices went so far beyond the means of someone earning a living in Vancouver that it is both hilarious and sickening at the same time. The rental market also became absolutely terrible (unless you enjoy living in the spider-infested mouldy basements of speculators or the expensive upper floors of a poorly-maintained house that is in constant danger of being flipped by its speculator). What finally did it for me was not being able to expand my business because my suppliers had fled… Read more »
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