B.C.'s affordability problems are impelling brain drain

Dated: January 24 2019

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B.C.'s affordability problems are impelling brain drain


British Columbia’s best and brightest are packing up and leaving for more affordable housing destinations elsewhere in the country, market observers warned.

Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, said that while Vancouver magnetizes people who are just starting up – that is, those still studying and those in the earliest parts of their careers – the market doesn’t fare so well in holding these skilled professionals in place.

Vancouver’s outsized housing costs mean that even if these young professionals can have higher incomes, they would not be able to buy anything more expensive than modest condo units, Yan explained.

“In a world like that, the labour pool has options,” Yan told The Canadian Press. “It doesn’t become cool when you’re 37 and have a roommate.”

The cautionary statements definitely have a lot of grounding in reality: December data from Statistics Canada showed that while international migration pushed B.C.’s population to exceed the 5 million mark for the first time, the province also lost about 1,200 people in Q3 2018.

Read more: Canadian optimism flags further as 2019 starts

Finance Minister Carole James asserted that “there’s no question that Vancouver is facing a brain drain.”

“Crisis is not too strong a word to describe the challenges we are facing, not just in Vancouver, but other urban settings around our province.”

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s report covering December indicated that the median price of a detached home stood at just over $1 million, while attached properties were at $809,700 and apartments at $664,100.

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Steven Axford

Steve Axford grew up in Victoria, BC and has always been active in his community. Steve is a Victoria Cougars Hockey Team alumni as well as a Victoria Shamrocks (intermediate) alumni. During his time....

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