And We Think the Housing Prices are Deadly in Vancouver…

KinsaleBack in 2001, we paid the equivalent of CAN $2700/month for a slightly shabby but spacious two bedroom flat in the centre of Dublin. That was considered a pretty good deal at the time.

I know rental rates and housing prices don’t necessarily run in parallel, but I just thought I’d mention that figure by way of introduction. I actually wanted to write about Dublin housing prices, which have soared since the Celtic Tiger phenomenon of the mid-nineties. Consider the facts that I read in today’s Irish Times:

  • In 1991, the average price of a ‘second-hand house’ (meaning not newly-built) was 76,075 euros (or CAN $115,935).
  • In March, 2007, the average price of a second-hand house was 429,151 euros (or CAN $654,005).

Prices have increased over five-fold in a 16-year period! That’s just nuts. No wonder there’s extensive speculation about an Irish real estate bubble.

To compare with Vancouver:

  • According to Stats Canada (via a PDF whose location I failed to note), in 1991, the average Vancouver home cost about CAN $200,000.
  • In November, 2006, the average Vancouver home cost CAN $519,294.

Why that’s a measly increase of two and a half times.

I suppose to do a real analysis you’d have to compare GDP or average net income and these sorts of factors, but Lord knows I’m no economist. Apparently the US is undergoing a significant, uh, correction. Will Ireland and Canada follow?


  1. A correction is not predicted by most for Vancouver any time soon, for reasons with which I largely agree; first being of course the boom created by the 2010 Olympics preparations, but others being the interest in Vancouver that the Olympics hopefully with bring, the lack of land on which to build cheaper accommodations, and the attraction for many Canadians of moving to somewhere where winter isn’t a four letter word.

    I have heard, though, that the rest of Canada might follow the US correction; and you never know about Vancouver. Might be a good time to sell one’s place here while prices are high, travel somewhere exotic for a while, and then come back and build a house after the prices settle.

    But then, that would only be something to do in hindsight… who could possibly time it to do that ahead of the bubble burst?

  2. Andrea: Indeed, but that was the best stat I could find from 1991. Plus, I was more interested in the factor by which prices have increased, not the values themselves.

  3. For sure. But I wonder what increase you’d see if you went back to 1988 for Vancouver, when we were in a big trough. Probably almost the same.

    The revitalization of Ireland is phenomenal, though. They have implemented some amazing fiscal policies aimed at attracting young professionals.

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