Why are prices rising so fast in Vancouver. Despite our protestations to the contrary, sometimes we slip back into our old habits of blaming the other, the foreigner, or in this case, specifically, the Chinese buyers. Why, because it is easy to do, instead of focusing on what the real issues are. In a remarkably well-penned guest op-ed (remarkable for the Globe and Mail that is), Yuen Pau Woo exhorts us not blame the others in an article titled "It’s too easy to blame ‘outsiders’ for Vancouver’s housing woes". He makes many key points in a compelling manner, one of which is that
A fundamental problem in much of the writing to date is the conflation of house prices and affordability. In fact, affordability is a function of prices and income. Vancouver’s problem is not simply that house prices are sky-high; it is also that average incomes are low compared to other major metropolitan areas. For example, the average earnings of university graduates in the Metropolitan Vancouver area in 2005 was $52,000, compared with $53,000 in Winnipeg, $62,000 in Hamilton, $64,000 in Toronto and $77,000 in Calgary.
Read the whole piece.