In Canada, few things determine your life chances more than whether or not you were lucky enough to have been born to rich parents, and few things illustrate this point better than the 2,485 millennials (defined here as individuals between the ages of 25 and 35) who own homes outright in the city of Vancouver.
This small group accounts for nearly 86% of Vancouver’s millennial homeowners, with only 14% of millennials paying for their homes the old-fashioned way (with ye olde mortgages). The median value of homes owned by those millennials who own their homes outright? 2.5 million bux. Daddy’s rich!
Who are these people with such rich parents? Well, for starters, they’re people like Chip Wilson’s failed entrepreneur son JJ Wilson who appears on this list of proud millennial homeowners. Not unlike Chip, many of Canada’s young and rich have parents who are making (or have made) a killing off of the appalling labour and environmental standards of countries with brutal authoritarian regimes. Many of them are using Canadian banks to dodge capital controls in their home jurisdictions and pay barely any tax.
Less exceptionally, the millennial homeowner may also be someone whose parents made out like bandits from Vancouver’s transition to a permanent state of housing crisis. Maybe mom or dad bought a property that exploded in value, picked up sticks and moved to Saltspring Island, leaving behind a cash pile sufficient to buy a freezing concrete box in the West End. Nearby, a JJ Wilson-branded spin class where millennial owners can sweat out their ever-present fear of falling.
There is, of course, the off chance that a few of these rich kids are freshly-minted tech millionaires, and that, in contrast to their fellow millennial homeowners, they may have actually earned the money with which they purchased their 2.5 million dollar homes. If you are one of these people and you’re reading this: Well done! We offer minor penitences starting at $100,000. Penitences come with a novelty mug. The mug reads “Raise Taxes.”
These numbers, originally provided to LowestRates.ca by the beloved Andy Yan, reveal that Vancouver has been mostly evacuated of those who work hard to own property. They reveal cardiac arrest in the heart of the modern economy: education, a good job—these are merely affects, a way of signalling distinction without difference (you’ll find yourself paying off someone else’s mortgage either way!). For the poor and working class, a lifetime of insecure housing is just business as usual, but for the middle class, to whom the olive branch of property ownership was extended over the preceding 100 years, the jig is up.