“Leif, 31, is an intern architect, and Heidi, 32, a full-time student at Emily Carr. Former Winnipeggers, they had already owned homes in Saskatoon and Winnipeg when they arrived in Vancouver in 2009, bringing with them $75,000 in equity. Despite their modest income, they were optimistic that their good fortune in the real-estate market on the Prairies would set them up for a decent fixer-upper in Vancouver. They quickly realized their income and savings would only buy them a one-bedroom condo—if that.
“Coming here was a slap in the face,” says Leif. “We thought we were lucky getting that down payment together, but it’s pennies here.” Recently he spotted a new one-bedroom in Kitsilano for $300,000; to prove a point, he went on MLS and found a home in Winnipeg for the same price: an old-stock character house with four bedrooms and two baths on three floors. It was 2,400 square feet; the Kits condo was 400. “The longer I’m out here, the more I’m convinced this market is unstoppable. If this was any other regional city, prices would adjust. But that’s not how it is here,” he says. “I don’t want to sound like we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, because we could happily move back. But we realized that Vancouver is not a regional market. Real-estate-wise, it’s not really Canada anymore.”
- anecdote from ‘Going, Going, Gone’, by Tyee Bridge, Vancouver Magazine, 1 Nov 2011
A bubble, by definition, appears ‘unstoppable’ to almost everybody in its sphere of influence. – vreaa