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Pride and Prejudice
Here is an excellent chart from Andrew Yan, an urban planner with Bing Thom Architects who plotted out the July 2012 Tax Assessed values of homes in Vancouver BC over and under $1 million. Vancouverites always knew that Main Street was an important demarcation between west and east as it was roughly where the line was drawn for map makers and the post office to differentiate between avenues west and east (streets run north south) and west was-is the best for an address. It is striking that this value border remains so well defined. There are pockets in the east that have created islands of million dollar plus assessments but Vancouver City planners are moving to increase densities in the east in an effort to get more "affordable" housing there and to compete with even more easterly city planners like Burnaby.
Snippet from the July 2013 Globe & Mail The $1-million white picket fence "Seeking to spur builders to pack extra density on valuable land, Vancouver city council in May approved new zoning rules for the Norquay neighbourhood on the East side."
Snippet from June 2013 The Tyee At Ground Zero for Vancouver's Towering Debate "High-rises up to 36 storeys proposed for Commercial and Broadway neighbourhood raise looming citywide question: who decides?"
Snippet from the April 2013 Burnaby NewsLeader Lougheed's turn to become high-density neighbourhood "In Burnaby, we don't just make plans, we follow them..."CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Since 2009 out of the crash into the pit of gloom, I have been tracking listing prices along the west-east demarcation line with the notion that real estate prices in Vancouver will eventually deflate to long term averages. The rally out of the gloom has been so successful that listing prices remain very sticky and "low" rates hypnotize buyers into ignoring the fundamentals (negative yields) because their faith is that inflation will raise their boat no matter how high the tide is when they launch.
I am not convinced that the Main Street fence will fall anytime soon; my apologies to Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway.
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
"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'