Josh Gordon wrote the sentence "There's only one problem: there's no good evidence for [the supply narrative]." when the rental vacancy rate is ~1%. This sort of refusal to engage with real estate economics would seem to be mostly hubris
Like no shit buddy. Supply is how you respond to demand!
Consider, if you will, that at some point, SFU had more demand for poli-sci education, and they hired an assistant professor to teach poli-sci students. Gordon-o-nomics would seem to imply that they should have just gotten rid of the students!
It's utterly unsurprising that the highest ever prices generated a supply response.
What this would come down to is not considering the difference between a 'change in supply' and a 'change in quantity supplied.' High prices can pay for more supply, but that doesn't really demonstrate that housing-supply affecting policies are optimal
The claim regarding the development geography of surrounding cities could be better fleshed out. For instance, there's not exactly a huge amount of greenfield development potential in Metro Vancouver, between the mountains, the border and the ALR.
As for building new homes on existing sites, the bulk of the region is well spoken for in terms of [gasp] existing single family zoning.
Area-man finds simple correlation
This is sorta where Gordon elides the supply argument. The point isn't really form - it's capacity. the problem with single family zoning in a high demand region is that it can't respond to demand.
Claiming that the argument is form-->price is simply a strawman argument. But if you want to actually talk about quantities supplied in London, Hong Kong or Manhattan, buddy let's have a look!
London is building literally 19th Century levels of housing supply for a city that is millions of people bigger. I can't emphasize enough that a city where housing starts peaked nearly 90 years ago is not what you want to be citing here.
Stockholm, on the other hand, realized they had a problem. Market prices were high. social wait-lists were long, and so they've taken measures to increase supply and have succeeded at softening the market.
In the end, Gordon's whole outlook would seem to be that because price-changes are primarily demand-driven (which I won't even really contest) the only valid response is demand-oriented. Imagine the disaster that would be if we applied this logic to anything other than housing
I too believe that there are important demand measures to be undertaken, however instead of warping Federal immigration or monetary policy in order to better support the aesthetic preferences of Grandview-Woodland character home owners, I suggest...
...that we should move towards fewer subsidies for homeownership and increase the portion of provincial and local revenue derived from property taxes (and, dare I say, land value taxes). The school tax was good!
But there's lots of benefits to 'moving the demand curve' For one there's the simple 'people can more easily live places when there's more housing availability. 100s of 1000s of adults who live with parents or with roommates who'd rather not if they could rent a one bedroom.
increased agglomeration economies that make for a deeper job market in the longer term. Blue collar work for people who actually build housing and associated infrastructure! We can't all push papers for a living like Josh or I do. Increased revenue for cities!
Vancouver is a very sustainable place to live, with a functioning transit system and low heating and cooling costs. More people living here is very often a climate-impact gain over them living elsewhere. And the new housing built is very often much more efficient than the old

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14 Apr
(the above pictures is a twitter stock-gif, and has nothing to do with vancouver, but it's time for Pictures of Old Trains! By popular choice, tonights topic is OLD STATIONS
Today, there are two mainline stations and 19 metro stations in Vancouver. Lost among that are two interurban terminals, two mainline terminals, several CPR local stations, two versions of Waterfront Station, and whole bunch of red BCER shacks
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