Young Vancouverites walking through a city most young Vancouverites cant afford.
Young Vancouverites walking through a city most young Vancouverites can't afford. Charles Mudede

Her name is Christy Clark. She is the premier of British Columbia. She now wants to impose rules on the housing market because it has become clear to her, during an election season, that it can't regulate itself. You will not find a single market in the history of capitalism that has regulated itself without causing serious harm and damage to the poor and working class. The housing market in Vancouver and other parts of the province is no exception. Also, the worst economic situation you can ever create is one that couples a self-regulated a market with an absence of capital controls. Vancouver has been in this exact situation since 2005. Then, only 19 percent of "single-family homes were valued at more than $1 million." Now, 91 percent of homes in that city are valued at $1 million or more. Clark might be arriving to a huge fire with just a bucket of water.

Seattle, by the way, is also a housing market that has little to no capital controls—money can enter and leave with no real checks.

It's also a city where "the number of homes worth at least $1 million has tripled" over the past 4 years. It's also a city that, in essence, is managed by the same economic logic and program that has made Vancouver impossible. And it's a city where many urbanist housing activists actually believe that a close partnership with the market, on its own, will lead to affordability. But markets, particularly unfettered markets, are about positive feedback loops and not negative ones (the equilibrium state of supply and demand). The situation never stabilizes but gets more unstable and vertiginous. And busts tend to transfer wealth upwards, not downwards.

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