The belief that people are trapped in their first home due to lack of available options in Vancouver just isn't true. The benchmark prices for condos and townhomes here are now rising at the same rate, after years of plateau. Fears of not being able to move up to a larger condo or townhouse are unfounded.
In China, crooks don't have to go to the casino because intermediaries called "junkets" will swap Yuan for gambling chips that can be cashed into Hong Kong or Macao currency at the casino then wired by Hong Kong banks to tax havens or accomplices offshore. The goal is to buy a condo or luxury goods with funds from a trust managed by a shell company in Grand Cayman, owned by another trust in Guernsey with an account in Luxembourg managed by a Swiss banker who doesn't know who the owner is.
The key issue is whether the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside should remain a low-income precinct with a high concentration of shelters, social housing, and community services -- essentially "walled off" from the rest of the city -- or should it become a more normalized community with a broader range of households and housing choices, including condominiums, restaurants and shops catering to the entire city population?
Coming up with a down payment for a condo in Vancouver is a huge issue. But what if you could trade your car in for a down payment on a condo? With the rising popularity of car-free living and car co-ops, trading in a depreciating asset for a down payment on a condo may be one way into Vancouver's crazy housing market.