Douglas Todd: The first journalist to really capture Vancouver’s housing crisis

VANCOUVER, BC., April 15, 2019 — Jim Sutherland, former editor of the Mix Section at the Vancouver Sun, who wrote a ground-breaking piece about the causes of Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis in 2010, in action on the west side of Vancouver, BC., April 15, 2019. (NICK PROCAYLO/PostMedia) 00057071A ORG XMIT: 00057071A [PNG Merlin Archive]

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Jim Sutherland, former editor of the Mix Section at The Vancouver Sun, on the west side of Vancouver on April 15, wrote a prophetic story in 2010 about the causes of Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis.

Jim Sutherland nailed the key causes of Metro Vancouver’s housing crunch almost a decade ago. But few noticed. And many denied it.

As a result, the city descended into an ugly affordability crisis, which probably could have been avoided. It’s only in the past couple of years that politicians have mounted a serious response to the tremendous power foreign capital has had in shaping B.C.’s housing market. But Sutherland’s article had explained much of it nine, long, painful years earlier.

The lengthy 2010 essay by the former editor of The Vancouver Sun’s Mix section, who has also served as chief editor to Canadian housing and lifestyle magazines, captured how the world’s wealthy, especially from China, were seeking a safe haven in Metro’s high-end housing, were arriving largely through Canada’s dubious investor-immigrant program and were making most of their riches outside the country.

“If ‘buyers from China’ answers the ‘who’ question about Vancouver’s unique real estate market, the followup question — ‘Where is this leading?” — is harder to answer,” Sutherland wrote in a Report on Business Magazine article headlined: “The Price of Paradise: Wealthy immigrants from China are happy to pay stratospherically for homes in …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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