The constant Bull/Bear debate has got me thinking. How bad do we really have it here in Vancouver? I read two articles the other day. The first article was a report called Mercer’s Quality of Living. The report takes into account a number of issues such as political & social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, etc…The second article was about the Worldwide Cost of Living. This is a bi-annual survey comparing prices & products over 130 cities around the world.
Interestingly enough Vancouver was voted the top 3 city in the World to live. On the flip side Vancouver was ranked the 34th in a cost of living survey. To bring that into context. Moscow was ranked 171st in the quality of living report, while ranking 26th most expensive city to live. Vancouver = higher quality of life+less expensive. Moscow = lower quality of life and more expensive.
Here are a couple selections from the links:
“Mercer’s overall ranking for quality of living has revealed that Zurich again ranks as the world’s top city, with a rating of 108.1. The city narrowly out-ranks Geneva, which scores 108. Vancouver and Vienna follow in joint third place and score 107.7.”
“Oslo heads the 2007 Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey…Of the ten most expensive cities surveyed, only Tokyo and Osaka hail from outside Europe. Western European cities make up the priciest places in the survey. Moscow (Russia—26th) is now more expensive than New York (US—28th), the most expensive destination outside Europe and Asia….
…Canada set to out-price the US?
If the dollar stays weak, Canadian cities could become the most expensive in North America as Vancouver (34th) and Montréal (36th=) continue to close the price gap on New York. Vancouver is now only four percentage points cheaper than New York and more expensive than any other city in North America. Montreal has the same cost of living as Chicago (36th=), the second costliest in the US…”
Obviously the groups ranking the city can be criticised on a variety of grounds, but in big picture terms, how bad a place is Vancouver, and are high property values justified?
Does someone from Moscow, (or anywhere else, for that matter), that is ranked as expensive to live, but not ranked highly on the livability standard, recognize value here that we ignore or downplay? Short term market fluctuations aside, do we have a challenge recognizing that what we used to get for less is simply going to cost more in the future?