"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
In the last 10 years average SFD Prices and median Family Income are up:
99% & 33% in Vancouver & BC
66% & 65% in Calgary & AB
79% & 30% in Toronto & ON
I have added the chart above to the Earnings Employment page.
If you want to live and work in Vancouver now, you have to pay a very high premium for housing; and if you are in the lower percentiles of earners and have to commute to Vancouver for an ordinary service related job, you will have the added commute and time expense from the more "affordable" suburbs.
In BC, the contradiction between years of economic growth and rising insecurity is especially stark. Even at the height of the economic boom of the mid-2000s, median earnings for BC workers were lower than for their parents’ generation in the late 1970s, once inflation is taken into account. BC saw the largest decline in median earnings for full-time, full-year workers of the four Canadian provinces where earnings fell since the late 1970s. And that happened during a time when the provincial economy almost doubled in real terms and real GDP per capita rose by more than 25 per cent.
In Toronto it's almost as bad. In the last 10 years, GTA SFD prices have increased 79% but median family incomes have gone up only 30% (Vancouver has produced an absurd 99% & 33% increase).
Ontario will probably continue to benefit from Federal Government spending as politicians and other actors hold court for corporate Canada; but for labour, family income has fallen way behind housing costs in a decade of extreme speculation while CPI is still the same as it was in 2004. The next decade has even more wage destruction in store (see PBS video "Humans Need Not Apply" below).
In Calgary and Alberta it's Texas tea that drives incomes and the speculative willingness to bid housing prices up well beyond fundamentals. For the moment, housing costs are backed up by a commensurate rise in family incomes (66% & 65%) over the last decade. But that narrow spread will widen as energy alternatives continue to advance throughout the world and the internet produces more labour saving cost effectiveness.
The challenge will not be housing costs; it will be income distribution. Make sure your income source has a future.
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense