“While sphincters are tightening in some parts of town over a softening in the real estate market, a lot of people are praying for prices to come down.
They are not impressed that we consistently place in the top three in the world’s unaffordable housing race. They include young wannabe homeowners, of course, but also private and public employers desperate to attract out-of-town skilled workers and senior executives or to retain valuable workers who insist on owning their own homes. Because our housing prices are around 10 times median income (with five times being “severely unaffordable”), the potential newcomers stay away and the valuable workers move away.
Businesses suffer. Families suffer. The city suffers. Homeowner debt piles up to ridiculous heights. The Bank of Canada has the jitters.”
– from ‘Fiscal reality continues to elude Vancouver real estate market’, Peter Ladner, Business In Vancouver, 12 Feb 2013
Everything Peter Ladner says here is true.
A large part of the answer to Vancouver’s dilemma is for housing prices to return to about 5 times local incomes, and that will not occur via a real increase in incomes. It’ll resolve with a 50%-plus drop in RE prices, precisely the kind of outcome to the speculative mania that we are anticipating.