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Role of Foreign Investment

In the 19821983 time period, real estate purchase prices and rental rates skyrocketed in the Vancouver area. These phenomena occurred because effects of the severe economic recession which hit Canada in the early1980s were felt first in Ontario and Alberta. As a result, thousands of people from those and other provinces migrated to British Columbia, where jobs were still available (for a while, at any rate).

While the purchase price of real estate and residential rental rates increased in the 19821983 time period, the actual stock of rental housing did not decrease. This phenomenon did occur in 1986, however, subsequent to the opening of Expo 86. For the duration of the world's fair, thousands of residential rental units were withdrawn from the market to be used as temporary visitor housing. In this situation, the actual stock of residential rental housing decreased, and residential rental prices, once again, skyrocketed.

The contemporary real estate environment in the Vancouver metropolitan area contains the elements of each of the two earlier real estate crises of the decade of the eighties. Some 3factors associated with the contemporary real estate environment, however, cause it to be unique. These factors are (1) the Asian source of much of the capital being invested in Vancouver real estate in 1989, and


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