Canada real estate is reliving 30-year-old history : analysis

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Ephraim Vecina
The Vancouver Sun

While the continuously growing prices in Canada’s real estate sector might come across as a shock for industry players and would-be market participants, an article from way back in 1988 shows that the state of the country’s most dynamic housing markets is nothing new.

Posted by The Globe and Mail real estate reporter Tamsin McMahon on social media, the near-30-year-old report focused on the impact of low mortgage rates on the then rapidly growing home prices in Toronto.

“Politicians and tenants’ groups have declared a housing ‘affordability crisis’ – again – and have called for a tax on speculators’ profits to cool down the frenzy,” the article read. “Dark words are muttered about how foreign money is to blame. Or yuppies.”

Another 1989 BCTV story provides a window on the Vancouver market of that era, which back then saw host to plenty of opposition to increasing foreign investment in the city.

“People like us, a young married couple and we’ve lived here all our lives, and we can’t afford to buy a house,” the report quoted one woman as saying. “We save and we save, and it doesn’t matter, because the prices keep going up because the foreign people keep coming in and keep buying.”

In an analysis for The Huffington Post Canada, industry observer Jesse Ferreras said that with just minor changes to the figures involved, one can see that the situation is essentially the same.

“Substitute the numbers for today’s prices and such a story could have been published last week,” Ferreras argued.

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