Price mania in Vancouver is showing no signs of stopping

by Ephraim Vecina28 Aug 2019

Vancouver’s home price madness does not appear to be cooling down any time soon, with one of the most outrageous recent examples being a $2,850/month “affordable” rental suite in the West End.

In a piece for the Vancouver Sun, columnist and markets observer Dan Fumano noted that a recent Craigslist entry advertised a three-bedroom rental home supposedly aimed at “low-income” families.

The asking rent rate for the property indicated otherwise, as it would have been affordable only for tenants who have incomes roughly two times larger than the market average.

Said listing was removed early last week, amid frank astonishment from a local market already labouring under exorbitant housing costs.

Danny Laufer, who previously occupied the unit for seven years with his wife and two children, expressed hope for a new local owner after moving out in early 2019.

Upon learning of the absurd price, he expressed his dismay to the mayor and every other significant local official, including the BC Housing Minister.

In his letter, Laufer wrote that Vancouver’s current situation is unsustainable, “taking away precious family housing that exists, and replacing it with market rate housing that is not geared to families.”

“I just don’t get it,” he told Fumano. “Everybody on council now ran on the platform of housing … What’s going on?”

Making matters worse is that the ad came out around the same time the city announced new projects for lower-income families.

“That housing is still a few years out [from being constructed and occupied], and in the meantime, you’re going to deplete the stock of non-market housing? It’s un-freaking-believable,” resident Judy Graves told Fumano.

Known as Vancouver’s leading advocate for the homeless, Graves previously worked for the city government for more than 30 years.

“There’s definitely been a policy shift, but I don’t know if council was informed of that policy shift,” she added. “I think most people who are on the current council would understand immediately the amount of outrage that will be experienced by people in Vancouver, when they realize they paid for social housing that is now being rented out for top dollar, and families are being screwed.”


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