Category Archives: BC

Hey Vancouver! Why so miserable?

You’d think that living in a great city would make you happy, but apparently that’s not true for everyone.  Southseacompany points out this article about why people in Vancouver and Toronto are so unhappy.

Vancouver is now a place you try to survive as much as enjoy. All the problems are well known, the greatest being the high cost of housing. When you, as a young person, have little hope of making a comfortable life in a city that you love, of course it’s going to cause unhappiness. There is a sense that Vancouver is being yanked away from those who love it most, taken over by mercantilists and arrivistes from around the world who care little about a city’s “soul” so long as the skiing’s good and there’s a place that sells beluga caviar. And then there are those sitting on a lottery ticket with the house they bought years ago, waiting to cash out, and those sitting on a mountain of debt, praying interest rates don’t go up. It doesn’t sound like the kind of environment that would engender a cool community vibe, a place where relationships between people can flourish. And that, I think, is what the survey on happiness has tapped into.

Read the full article here.

BC slides

Kabloona pointed out this article: “dramatic drop in home sales makes B.C. an outlier among provinces”

“VANCOUVER—B.C.’s real-estate market has gone from being one of the strongest in the country to the weakest as the number of sales drops sharply in comparison to other provinces.

The B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) is forecasting a 21 per cent drop in sales in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of sales in July was 24 per cent lower than the previous July, according to Douglas Porter, chief economist and managing director of BMO Financial Group….

“…..Compared to the rest of the country we are noticing that it’s especially weak, which is quite a turnaround from what we’ve seen over much of the past 10 to 15 years,” Porter said. “It’s quite unusual for Vancouver to stick out.”

Read the full article here.

Vancouver BC is “making room”

In a city with outrageous house prices, more than half the land is zoned as ‘single family’ housing. This leaves very little in the range between very high density mini condo towers and expensive family homes.

Many older cities have addressed this issue with mid density housing including row homes, and it looks like Vancouver is ready to follow suit:

More specifically, the proposal instructs planners to “bring forward policies for RS and RT zones that allow triplexes, quadplexes and other multi-unit formsto significantly bring down the purchase cost per unit of housing in low density neighbourhoods.”

It also recommends setting maximum dwelling unit sizes, reducing parking and setback requirements, eliminating design guidelines, and offering density bonuses for projects that provide community benefits. The city has embarked on an 18-month process to develop and adopt the full program.

Read the full article here.

Calgary most liveable city in Canada?

The economist ranks Calgary as the most liveable city in Canada, Vancouver follows up in 6th place.

Every year, the research and analysis arm of the London-based publisher of the Economist magazine ranks 140 cities and scores them based on 30 different factors, boiled down to five categories:

  • Stability (based on local rates of crime, terrorism and military unrest).
  • Quality of local health care.
  • Local culture and environment (everything from weather to quality of local restaurants).
  • Quality of education.
  • Quality of infrastructure (everything from transit to electrical grids and telecommunications networks).

Melbourne was first seven years in a row before being displaced by the Austrian capital.

Not factored in on that list: cost of living or incomes. Read the full article over at the CBC.