Jesee Donaldson captures the spirit of Vancouver – and the truth about our speculative past – in this piece in The Dependent:
There’s no debating that Vancouver is the most expensive city in the country. And, it’s possible to argue that that part of its value is the result of speculative investment.
However, contrary to the views expressed by newspapers such as the Courier (Mark Hasiuk’s article asserts that “it began in the 1980s, when waves of Hong Kong residents including members of the business elite, wary of communist China’s pending takeover, poured across the Pacific, gobbling up property with converted HKDs”), this isn’t a recent phenomenon. People from all over the world have been investing in Vancouver for more than 130 years.
In fact, Vancouver was a real estate investment before it was even incorporated as a city. The factors that draw investors today are no different than those that brought the European settlers of the 1870s; simply, that Vancouver is a desirable place to live. As the first few generations of Vancouverites bought, sold, swapped, and developed, and realized the desirability of their new city’s climate, location, and resource wealth, the land took on incredible value unbelievably quickly.
And we’ve been bitching about it ever since.