Excerpt: The look of the city, known for its ‘Vancouverism’ design, is changing as the real estate market adapts to the spread of luxury housing and a tech-fueled office boom.
The city is one of the least affordable housing markets in North America, a crisis that experts say is fueled by investors, who have long viewed real estate here as a safe harbor. Almost half the condos in the city are not occupied by their owners, according to the Canadian Housing Statistics program.
“Vancouver House is quite interesting, but iconic architecture can have a counterproductive downside,” said Patrick Condon, an architecture professor at the University of British Columbia. “The new developments seem like advertising billboards to the globe, which operates at the expense of local people who need housing.”
The median household income in Vancouver is 65,327 Canadian dollars (about $50,000), according to Canada’s 2016 census. The average home price in 2018 was 966,866 Canadian dollars, according to the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation.