This article in the Vancouver Sun written by Stephanie Ip  confirms what many had surmised-instead of working for a living, own a house in Vancouver and just hold onto it.

A Vancouver mathematician Jens von Bergmann  on his blog has written about Work vs. Twiddling Thumbs . Von Bergmann has compared wages earned with the equity gained by increasing Vancouver single family  property values. Using data from the National Household Survey, the City of Vancouver and the B.C. Assessment Authority, Vancouverites take home $17.8 billion in after tax income (2010).

The average single family detached house in Vancouver rose $262,000 in value  from 2015 to 2016, creating an equity lift of $24.6 billion. These numbers are not adjusted for inflation, don’t include property tax or property transfer tax, but you get the picture.

By taking the homeowners’ equity amount and dividing it with the average number of hours worked per household, the math revealed that houses on the east side earned $92.00 an hour in 2015, with houses on the west side (with Main Street as the divider) earning  $173.00 an hour. By comparison, Von  Bergman calculated that the average after tax income for regular nine-to-five work of people in Vancouver was a measly $26.00 an hour.

The data is crude, but it provides a very sobering glimpse on housing affordability.How do we ensure that those $26.00 an hour wage earners can live here too?