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Insight: REIBC blog > Unsustainable Real Estate Prices?

Unsustainable Real Estate Prices?

posted on 9:07 AM, October 7, 2016
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Are the real estate prices in Vancouver and adjacent communities sustainable, or are we in some kind of a bubble? Author Joshua Gordon of SFU’s School of Public Policy outlines some of the major harms (and false benefits) associated with the present real estate situation in Vancouver, arguing that even if current real estate prices in the city are in some sense sustainable “economically”—which he doubts is the case—they are not sustainable politically.

One major harm of the present situation is generational inequity. The current generation of would-be homeowners are having difficulty buying into the highly priced Vancouver market at all, or amassing incredible amounts of debt to do so, while those who have owned for some time and have chosen to sell their Vancouver homes are essentially amassing wealth at the expense of those who purchase.

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Another major harm is the weakening of communities as some homes sit vacant, young families that can’t afford to buy move away from the city, workers live increasingly far away from where they work, and social support networks disintegrate.
Arguing that the present situation is the result of policy choices, Gordon highlights the need for policy action. To read more, see “Seeing the Bigger Picture,” in the Summer 2016 issue of Input, page 7.

More information about SFU’s School of Public Policy

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