Global Speculators-Not Just the Chinese-are Playing Carnival Capitialism With Vancouver Real Estate

Vancouver real estate prices are insane, nobody who works for their money can afford to buy there anymore, only those whose money works for them can. The questions of why and what can be done about it have generated so many opinions that researching this topic leaves one spinning more than a carnival tilt-a-whirl. The real estate marketers neglect to collect any hard data on non-resident ownership and spin the rapidly increasing prices that line their pockets as a by-product of restrictive density regulation and, in Vancouver's case, geographic limitations.

The urban planner's spin wants the boomers to move out of their big houses and let 'em all be turned into duplexes, etc. Listing all the opinions would take volumes. But the one this writer wants to de-bunk is the semi-racist idea that it's all a problem created by those 'Chinese Devils' when in fact the Chinese and other Asians are just playing the game of unrestricted capitalism the same way any/all the other globalized capitalist mobsters do.

As prominent Vancouverite Sandy Garossino points out, "If you look at the investment climate everywhere, there's almost nothing better than Vancouver real estate. The equity markets are toast, the bond markets are toast, everything is doing nothing. For a global investor, Vancouver's real estate might go through some rocky points, but it's not going to lose more than 10 or 15 per cent of its value and certainly not over the long haul." So why shouldn't the carnival capitalist speculators be flocking to the Vancouver?

Here in Canada Prince Edward Island and most of the Prairie provinces have restrictions on non-resident ownership. Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, Mexico, Poland ,Greece and Australia do too. The Aussie situation closely parallels ours here in Canuckistan, their introduction of tougher criteria for foreign real estate investment just a few years ago had an immediate effect. China itself has passed a number of laws designed to to penalize speculators who purchase homes and then leave them unoccupied while waiting for the value to appreciate. If Vancouver were to take this approach to protecting its residents — rather than inviting speculators to participate in year-round open-season free-fire “investment” — the social fabric of the city might show marked improvement.

That, the quality of life, is the real issue facing Vancouver specifically, and all of BC generally, as the speculative wave ripples outward through the rest of the Province. It's far simpler for the mainstream media, who themselves owe allegiance to their capitalist advertisers, to use pejorative fear based racist terminology as a wedge issue than to take on the real forces of evil-the self-interested greed of capitalist speculators. When the workers who build the buildings and the provide the services necessary for a cosmopolitan city to thrive can't afford to live there something must change or the city will spiral downward quickly.