Friday, 13 June 2014

Peonies and the Vancouver housing market

What in the world could be the relation of a flower to the housing market?  Easy: These peonies used to grow in the garden of a very cute small house on a huge lot that my friends Andrew & Yiman used to rent in East Vancouver.  When they got evicted last year, so that the house could be demolished to make room for a monster house that fits on the lot like a hippopotamus would fit in your bathroom, they asked me whether Grandma would have any use for some peony plants.   The old house got demolished, Grandma accepted the offer, the peonies changed location, and yet another affordable rental place in Vancouver went the way of the Dodo. 

Grandma has had a long love affair with peonies. They were transplanted to their new home last year but only a few managed to bloom because of the sudden move.  But the story is a much different one this year:

There is a peony jungle growing in the garden!

And while the story of the peonies has a happy ending, the same can't be said of the story of Vancouver's affordable housing market.  The newest trend that can be observed all over the city is to buy a property with a house for around 1 Million Dollars, and then to obliterate the house, only to build a new house with twice or thrice the square footage of the old one.  And the divide between those that can afford these new square-footage monsters and those looking for affordable rent is widening.  What a sad city.

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