Pete McMartin is on a roll over at the Vancouver Sun with a series of articles that looks at actual data on the Vancouver economy and housing.
The most recent article looks at local income levels.
Vancouver stands out as an unusual case around North America: Our house prices rose as our incomes fell.
But those high house prices, and our utter preoccupation with them, have become a distraction to a greater problem, and they are only a part of Vancouver’s economic malady. At any rate, those high housing prices are largely beyond the jurisdictional abilities of Metro Vancouver’s municipal governments to have any real effect on them. Meaningful change — in immigration numbers, for example — would reside with the federal and provincial governments, but not at the municipal level.
No, the persistent, year-over-year problem has been in income decline, and this has been a long time coming.
“This is not a new story,” said Tsur Somerville, director of the University of B.C. school of urban economics and real estate. “We have lagged behind the other major metropolitan cities since the 1980s, and even before the period of rising home prices.”
Read the full article here.