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Experientially, Vancouver has high rental prices, and a shortage of rental properties on the lower end. I don't think the numbers reported by the site you linked to accurately reflect the reality of living in a city like Vancouver.

Counter evidence: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/vancouver-tops-list-of-most-... And http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2014/02/vancouver-expensive-city-...

Vancouver has high rental prices

Compared to most other cities, yes.

Compared to the cost to buy identical properties, Vancouver's rental prices are extraordinarily low. I'm paying $1700/month to rent a two-bedroom condo which would sell for around $500k; after strata fees and property taxes, my landlord is making less money than if he had bought Government of Canada bonds.

If you look at detached houses, the situation is even worse; for $2000/month you can rent a house which would cost over a million dollars to buy.

This is effectively the difference in market clearing functions between cash-only and government-underwritten credit-based markets. For a variety of historical reasons, governments around the world have enacted an infrastructure of government-backed credit and near-"exorbitant privilege"-level asset treatments (in many areas like regulatory, legislative, judicial, financial...the reach is quite broad) for residential real estate.

I have contrary views regarding this differential treatment, which I consider excessively improvident in our current era. But the views are strongly unpopular in the mainstream and the mainstream views are embedded into the very warp and weft of most people's conception of wealth and income, so I shy away from discussing my views in depth (and HN is not the forum to explore the attending issues).

However, in much of the discussion surrounding Piketty's recent work [1], there is increasing acknowledgement of the role the growth in housing asset pricing (interpreted as "wealth" in most venues) is playing in the increasing returns to capital-holders. Whether those returns are ever-increasing or only currently-increasing depends upon whether you think Piketty or Rognlie is more persuasive, respectively.

This somewhat parallels our industry's own discussions around the productive or dubious nature and wealth-building or wealth-destroying trend of so much enormous human talent and inventiveness devoted to what proponents call new forms of capital and economics, and detractors call frivolous ("cat memes"). This discussion is far from over. There's a deeper, more philosophically-oriented set of decisions that our polities around the globe will have to grapple with in the unfolding years ahead, regarding the nature of wealth, income, and money.

[1] http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/06/thomas-p...

That is really low for Vancouver. I don't know anyone in a 1 bedroom in the city centre that pays ~$1400 CAD. The lowest I've heard from my co-workers is ~$1650 CAD, going all the way up to ~$2100.

Even 2100 CAD ($1670 USD) is about half of San Francisco 1 bedroom rent. His post is still correct in terms of ratios. http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2015/03/03/mapping_the_median_...

There are lots of well paid jobs in SF. Not so in Vancouver.

Yeah, but you make 50-100% more in SF.

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