Contributor Ian Robertson writes to suggest that Vancouver’s rental market has, just maybe, jumped the shark.

A “den” just wide enough to slide a twin bed into, for almost $900/month. If we’re being generous, it’s all of 40 square feet. It may even come with access to common areas, like the kitchen and a bathroom.

But hey it’s a room, and it’s downtown in a building that has this sweet rooftop deck!

Except — wait, how do you get this view from Alberni Street. And is that BC Place from 2011?

Scam, suggested Ian, or perhaps simply an unscrupulous owner who wants to charge maximum $ for minimum value, and misrepresent to boot.

Soaring rents and sub-1% vacancies drives this kind of behaviour. It’s part of the reason why The Tenancy Survival Guide, by Kris Anderson and the Tenant Resource Advisory Centre (TRAC), is in its 11th printing.

And it’s why the province’s Rental Market Task Force, announced a few weeks ago, is in the midst of a multi-community roadshow.

We think we know the kinds of things they’ll hear. The question is — what’s the fix?


  1. This fix is more housing, good news is that the number of units under construction is off the charts and that there is slow movement towards relaxation of the exclusionary zoning that results in large quantities of land being reserved for the wealthy.

  2. Meanwhile south of the border…

    Seattle Rent Growth, Once The Fastest In The Nation, Drops
    Seattle’s rent growth rate tumbled in 2018 after thousands of new units hit the market in 2017. In 2017, Seattle rent growth was ranked the highest in the country with a 5.2% year-over-year increase. In 2018, the price of rent has dropped by 0.9%. After being in the top 10 for rent growth in the previous three years, the city’s rent growth rating dropped to 22, according to

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