House prices driving away key workers?

High housing prices in Vancouver are driving away the key working demographic of 25-40 year olds – more are moving to other provinces than moving in from other provinces.

This article was pointed out by crikey.

Despite the challenges, numerous companies interviewed by Reuters said most of their staff are willing to make sacrifices — like long commutes or raising kids in shoebox condos — for the benefit of Vancouver’s mild climate and outdoor lifestyle.

But those same companies, such as Vancouver-based retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op, also had examples of key hires who ultimately turned down jobs because of the high home prices.

It’s an issue Craig Hemer, an executive recruiter with Boyden, has been grappling with for the better part of a decade.

Hemer has learned ways to soften the blow — selling older executives on the idea of downsizing to a luxurious downtown condo and convincing those with families that suburban life offers more amenities for kids.

And how do the companies react to this challenge?

Companies too are shifting their policies, with some offering car allowances and transit subsidies. Others are opening small suburban offices or allow staff to telecommute from home.

But that isn’t always enough, especially in Vancouver’s start-up scene. Executives say it is easy enough to hire junior staff, but a dearth of experienced engineers and technology workers makes it hard to grow past a certain point.

“There’s just not enough high calibre people here. They all leave when they realize they can make more money in other cities and live there for cheaper,” said Simeon Garratt, chief executive of Spark CRM, a property-focused tech start-up.

“We debate at least once a month whether we should just move to Toronto.”

Read the full article here.

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tedeastside
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tedeastside
would-be buyer
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would-be buyer

@37. Let me be more clear. I will paint the walls and buy new plants for the garden or have the carpets cleaned. If the washing machine breaks down, I’ll call the landlord. My rent is so cheap and my landlord is so kind that I will not bother him to come over to fix a backed up toilet. I’ll get a plunger and giver. Not all renters are poor and irresponsible and not all landlords are slumlords.

Shut It Down Already
Guest
Shut It Down Already

It’s funny how some renters like to say they do repairs (or even partial renos in some cases). Wasn’t one of the benefits of renting that you didn’t have to deal with that stuff?

would-be buyer
Guest
would-be buyer
@32, I pay $1600 to live in a beautiful house in Kits. How? I have lived here for 8 years without a rent increase and my landlord loves that I don’t bother him with ANYTHING and I’m a responsible professional. I do my own minor repairs and I mow the lawn and upkeep the garden. Just like those who bought 8 years ago are sitting pretty with their massive equity gains, so are those who rented and stayed put. I just feel sorry for new tenants and buyers trying to enter this insane market. I will NEVER leave this place unless I buy. I would guess that the market value of my rental is around $2,500 or more a month. My landlord is subsidizing my housing costs by at least $900 a month. Do I regret not buying a SFH… Read more »
VMD
Member

@32
“Yeah, yeah I know posters on here claim they get westside houses for like $2.5K/month with no rent increase. I personally have never seen anything close to that”

You’re not looking hard enough, quick search in local (Chinese) rental listing yields several hits in Van West SFH whole house 2000-2800/month.
eg1 1618 W61 St (2800/m, negotiable if longer lease
eg2 Dunbar & 37 (2000/m)

VMD
Member

@32
“A cheap 2 br 800 sq ft cookie cutter condo in Richmond costs $1700/month+”

a simple craigslist search yields dozens of active 2BR condo/TH listings in Richmond, with asking price under $1600, many over 900sf.

tedeastside
Member
tedeastside

Vancouver’s business community can’t even raise 300k

Sauder business school needs a wake up call, what kind of graduates are they producing when vancouver has the most pitiful Corporate scene in North America.
they must be a sad business school, anybody who didn’t get accepted there should be laughing right now

and vancouver’s constant outdoorsy lifestyle, mild climate chest thumping to justify the housing prices is hilarious, outdoor activity is better in Jacksonville, atleast your not freezing half the year, sorry no skiing there though

space889
Guest
space889

@pricedoutfornow – god I’m so freaking tired of people claiming renting is cheap in this city. Renting is only cheap when compared to buying the same place with 5% down. Compared to income, renting is horrendously expensive. A cheap 2 br 800 sq ft cookie cutter condo in Richmond costs $1700/month+. A 1500 sq ft townhouse on Garden City usually costs more than $2000+/month. That’s not freaking cheap when your net take home pay for that average $72K/year family is only about $4k/month.

Yeah, yeah I know posters on here claim they get westside houses for like $2.5K/month with no rent increase. I personally have never seen anything close to that, unless they are talking about 2br basement or 1st floor suites in old houses.

space889
Guest
space889

Talk about tax cheats and social welfare leeches, here one locally grown one using fully legal TSFA:
http://www.greaterfool.ca/2014/12/30/is-this-legal

Ulsterman
Member
Despite the challenges, numerous companies interviewed by Reuters said most of their staff are willing to make sacrifices — like long commutes or raising kids in shoebox condos — for the benefit of Vancouver’s mild climate and outdoor lifestyle. I get so tired of hearing this. Vancouver’s mild climate. I guess it is mild compared to Winnipeg, but the climate is crap most of the year. I have two international students from Europe living with me and they both say the Vancouver weather is utterly depressing. These two are total dynamos, constantly out and about, so they are upbeat, positive kids. They like Vancouver but don’t get them started on the rain. Outdoors lifestyle: I ski and mountain bike regularly and find that I am an anomaly amongst friends and work colleagues. IF they go outside it’s to go for… Read more »
Shut It Down Already
Guest
Shut It Down Already

Can’t believe I got voted down so quickly for asking which world-class city with year-round warmth and affordable waterfront homes crikey was talking about. Either Miami is “truly world class” and not a crime-ridden shithole, or San Diego is “affordable” – but I’m not sure which.

Softy
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Softy

Vancouver really does look poorer than Calgary or Ottawa. Look no further than the huge % of houses with basement suites. In any sensible city, that’s viewed as evidence of low incomes.

Even the average Calgary or Regina median household income would need a basement suite to afford Vancouver SFH prices. Basement suites are a symptom of astronomical RE prices, not low actual (as opposed to reported) incomes.

tedeastside
Member
tedeastside

i could name 30 cities in North America with better opportunity, more developed business environment, warmer weather and better people than Vancouver BC

paulb
Member

New Listings 62
Price Changes 19
Sold Listings 69
TI:11425

http://www.paulboenisch.com

patriotz
Member

@24:

I think you not only have it wrong, I think you have it somewhat backwards.

I think Vancouver really does have low median incomes and that is because it has high immigration. There have been a lot of studies on how immigrants to Canada are falling further behind the native-born population, and even if a few tens of thousands of rich ones misreporting their incomes that’s not going to change the totals noticeably.

What distinguishes the higher income Canadian cities from Vancouver? Their growth is based on domestic migration, while Vancouver’s is now based only on immigration.

Vancouver really does look poorer than Calgary or Ottawa. Look no further than the huge % of houses with basement suites. In any sensible city, that’s viewed as evidence of low incomes.

Softy
Guest
Softy

When you then consider that Vancouver’s median family income was $72k in 2012, versus $92k in *Regina* of all places, it becomes even clearer that there is a big problem”

But everyone knows that tens of thousands of Vancouver residents do not report their worldwide income or their families are funded by a very rich off-shore income earner while the Canadian residents report almost zero income on their tax returns. The big problem is only in the quality of the statistics, not in the ability to afford high real estate prices.

chilled
Member
chilled

More mainstream media balderdash, I don’t even know where to start. As a matter of fact, I won’t even try. I will ask one thing though; Am I the only one that notices that the companies listed on various outlets as “the best companies to work for” are never the ones whining about a lack of workers?

Shut It Down Already
Guest
Shut It Down Already

Crikey, which other North American city are you comparing to?

crikey
Guest
crikey
#19 said “but renting is acceptable in many parts of the world-like NYC. People don’t generally move to NYC expecting to buy a place, they rent.” But Vancouver isn’t New York City, not even close. The price/rent/income fundamentals in NYC make way more sense than Vancouver. The article even stresses that there is a world of difference between cities that have plentiful high paying jobs (like New York and San Francisco) and Vancouver — which depends on tourism and natural resources. When you then consider that Vancouver’s median family income was $72k in 2012, versus $92k in *Regina* of all places, it becomes even clearer that there is a big problem. Imagine if Kansas City had a higher median income than New York — if that were the case, wouldn’t that tell you something was amiss? #3 said: “how is… Read more »
Whistler or bust?
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Whistler or bust?

#20 “Companies should also point out that condo prices haven’t gone up in 5 years, so there’s really no rush to buy”

7 years for most places and 9 years or more in parts of the Valley

pricedoutfornow
Guest
pricedoutfornow
I wonder if companies shouldn’t be instead telling prospective employees that although buying a house may be out of the question, it is a great rental market-then pull up various properties which can be rented for affordable prices. Yes, yes, I know, in Canada we are all real estate crazy, and think that everyone and their dog should own a house, but renting is acceptable in many parts of the world-like NYC. People don’t generally move to NYC expecting to buy a place, they rent. Companies should also point out that condo prices haven’t gone up in 5 years, so there’s really no rush to buy. We are a family of 4, very happy to be renting in Vancouver, and thinking that maybe this won’t be our “forever home”-so why commit to a million dollar house (that may in fact… Read more »
Re-diculous
Member
Re-diculous

Pretty good buy versus rent assessment here….needless to say, renting wins hands down.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-buying-bosa-condo-wont-make-you-rich-teresa-leung?trk=object-title

Priced out by choice
Guest
Priced out by choice

#10 – I rarely agree with Shut it down already but he is spot on. WSR is a joke who adds nothing of value. His stupid general posts about the demise of the market have no actual evidence in them. It is clear he has been exposed as a fraud.

WSR why don’t you take a few months off posting and come back during the spring selling season when you are sure to have a lot of time on your hands.

history
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history
CrashComing
Guest
CrashComing

$60 MILLION

Game changer perhaps. Housing prices could jump up significantly on that news.

Guess debt is the path to riches.

Ya right! This ship is sinking I can smell the stink of rot now as the market continues to decelerate.