Vancouver Real Estate, 1




focus dawn (2) buy/bought/bought
mark investor sell/sold/sold
local jump (2) drive/drove/driven (2)
income drive up affordable
globe level (3) define (2)
value joint (3) ownership
rent property it’s dawned upon us
setting reach (2) out of reach (2)
average concern leave/left/left (3)
extra overseas over the years
rein range (2) see/saw/saw
allow mine (2) helplessly
crucial damage put together
coast obvious opposition (2)
link demand productive
way soar (2) real estate
attract resident influence







Here’s what three million dollars buys in Vancouver; a year ago the price of a home like this was closer to 2 million. Vancouver real estate has never been more in demand, more costly.

Investors are coming from around the world — especially China — to buy and sell houses like this.

Steve Mitchell, Sotheby’s: “Most people who come here they come here for lifestyle. A lot of people say it’s a little bit hard to make money here, but I think people who have money would like to be here.”

Ten years ago nineteen percent (19%) of homes in Vancouver cost a million dollars or more; they’re marked in red on this map. Jump ahead to today: around 90 percent of the city’s houses are over a million — some much, much higher.

Researcher and planner Andy Yan says foreign investors, many from China, have helped drive up local prices to unaffordable levels.

Andy Yan, Researcher: “Part of this is also talking about the globalization of local real estate, of how local real estate markets are really entering a global marketplace that local incomes no longer can really define really how much the value of those homes are.”

Even with a joint income well above average for the city, Evan and Laura
can’t afford to live in Vancouver anymore. They’ve been renting for six
years and have watched helplessly as soaring prices push homeownership further out of reach.

It’s time they say to think about leaving.

Evan, Vancouver Resident: “It’s kind of dawned on us over the last year or so and many of our other friends as well that this is not a city where you can
have much of a future in if you want to start a family and do all the things you saw your parents doing at this age.”

Buying and selling real estate is so important to the local economy here, it’s
larger than mining, manufacturing and forestry put together. And some say it’s way too important.

Governments at several levels in Canada are trying to cool the market by reducing the influence of foreign money. Overseas buyers now face extra taxes, and that slowed things down a little.

But some say that property sales have been allowed to become such a
crucial economic activity, that trying to rein them in might cause real damage.

David Eby, Opposition Politician: “The concern is obviously that so much is linked to real estate and development. Right now all the focus is on house buying and selling houses. It’s not an economically productive activity and it certainly can’t continue the way it is.”

With its beautiful setting between the coastal mountain range and the
Pacific Ocean, this is a city that has long attracted new residents. What’s in
doubt is whether those who now call it home can afford to do so in future.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. Housing prices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada have been skyrocketing. True or false?

2. Do mostly ordinary, middle-class people buy family, suburban homes there?

3. Why have home prices increased so dramatically over the years?

4. Evan and Laura can’t afford a house because they are lazy and poor. Is this right or wrong?

5. Are the optimistic or pessimistic? What are their plans for the future?

6. Vancouver, British Columbia has a diversified economy. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Is the government encouraging, discouraging, both, in the middle, neither foreign investment in Vancouver?


A. Are housing prices in your city increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

B. Is there much real estate activity? Are all buyers local, foreign or both?

C. What can you say about the young versus older generation?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Should people and governments do anything?

Comments are closed.