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Insight: REIBC blog > Local Success, Not Foreign Buyers

Local Success, Not Foreign Buyers

posted on 2:35 PM, April 20, 2018
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Coal Harbour from Stanley Park. credit: flickrcc/Colin Knowles

It’s easy to place blame on others, but a closer look at Vancouver’s success as a real estate market shows that local factors are more likely to be the cause of high prices and the resulting unaffordability of living in this town.

Cameron Muir, chief economist at BC Real Estate Association, writes: “Little credit has been given to the phenomenal growth of the economy over the last four years and how the cumulative effect of employment growth, consumer confidence, and favourable demographics has driven housing demand. Instead, rising prices are largely blamed on a grab bag of foreign buyers, wealthy immigrants, and money laundering. The same metrics used to incorrectly predict housing bubble 2.0 are now being deployed as evidence that a foreign invasion into our neigbourhoods is the root cause of unaffordability.”

Muir paints a complex and compelling picture of the many elements at work on the issue. Mortgage rates, demographics, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the global recession, limited land supply, and development process timelines all play a role in today’s affordability crisis.

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Download Spring 2018

Read Muir’s analysis in “Our Inglorious Success,” in the Spring 2018 edition of Input, page 18. Download Spring 2018

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