The transit system in Metro Vancouver moves over 400k people a day.
SF refuses to allow for more housing and mass transit isn't extensive enough so you are required to live in certain areas.
And Manhattan is an island so that's why you get outrageous pricing there. People want to live close to where they work and there's a certain commute time that they are willing to put up with. If people could live 60 miles away from Manhattan in any direction, and reach it within 30 minutes, for example, then real estate prices would decrease.
I think there's more to the issue than it simply being a very basic supply and demand problem. The sort of supply desired (the cheap sort!) isn't arriving. It seems that even the experts and academics struggle to arrive at a coherent explanation of the problem, let alone a solution so I certainly don't have one.
However other contributing factors that are frequently brought up that seem like they could have an effect are:
* Difficult to build "cheap" buildings in Vancouver deriving from various city hall rules and low flexibility in what forms of housing one can build.
* No Federal tax support for low income housing or apartments results in developers only building luxury condo towers.
* No political interest from both Province or City in any changes in legislation or city zoning which could possibly lower people's property values.
As well the most incredibly expensive real estate is in single family detached housing, which Vancouver (city proper) can never make more of.
People are moving further and further out but the commutes are pretty outrageous. I live in a suburb that is a 45 minute bus commute to the city and nearly every house in my neighborhood is worth a million dollars.