Vancouver has been rated as one of the most desirable places to live on the planet. It currently ranks as #3, just behind Zurich and Vienna. The problem is, nobody can afford to live here, it’s also ranked as the 2nd most expensive place to live in North America, just behind San Francisco.  


So why are all those high rise condo’s being built along the west side of downtown and spreading out to Kitsilano and West Vancouver? Unfortunately Vancouver has a dark underbelly to it as well.  It is one of the top places in the world for money laundering in the form of real estate purchases and casinos with very little regulations governing them. 


Many of the high rise condo developments remain virtually empty, even though they may be 100% sold. Most of the sales are foreign ownership, and in many cases being sold, sight unseen. It’s not limited to the condo market only, many of the most desirable neighbourhoods are being bought up by the ‘mystery tenants’. Tenants who never live there, or if they do, it’s for a few weeks of the year. Sometimes a ‘family’ member will move in while they are attending university or working at the ‘business’.


This problem is so widespread and out of control, that another problem has cropped up. There are very few real people living in the neighbourhoods affected by the absent owners, and many local businesses that provide products and services to the general public, have few customers in light of the missing owners.

Another unfortunate side affect to this real estate ‘grab’ is the rising price tags associated with Real Estate in Vancouver. It’s totally unaffordable for 95% of the  people who actually live in the city. Many are forced to relocate to the suburbs, downsize, rent or move completely away from Vancouver.


For many Canadians, born and raised here, or skilled immigrants who come to Canada to follow their dreams by working hard, this is nothing less than a slap in the face. So far the bandaid efforts on the part of the provincial and federal government haven’t slowed the problem down. Guess what, the problem is now creeping out to other communities in British Columbia, and other provinces as well.