Here’s a succinct chart showing the state of issuance of building permits (click to enlarge), comparing 2013 to 2012 for the months elapsed so far. While eight areas show increases compared to last year, the remaining twelve show a decrease. Burnaby is the only big city in the Lower Mainland with a whopping increase, while Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver, Langley, New Westminster and Vancouver are all negative. As we drift farther away from Vancouver, all the areas on the periphery show marked increases, notably Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Lions Bay and Port Moody.
Is the center dwindling while the periphery absorbs all excess bloat? Or is this just confirmation that the middle class has given up the ghost and is busy buying property on the outskirts, now that the GVRD core is strictly the purview of a faceless investor class.