Vancouver is world’s second-most “resilient” city for real estate: Grosvenor Group

The top three cities in the world for long-term real estate investment, ranked in terms of resilience, are in Canada, and Vancouver takes the number two spot, according to a report issued by Grosvenor Group.

The study defined resilience as the ability to avoid or recover from an adverse event. This involved looking at 50 of the world’s biggest cities and ranking them in terms of their environmental and social vulnerability, as well as their adaptive capacity.

“We’ve basically tried to work out whether cities are resilient to likely changes in the global economy over the next 50 years or so,” Dr. Richard Barkham, research director for the Grosvenor Group, told Business in Vancouver.

Barkham went on to explain how this resilience will play a role in long-term real estate investment decisions.

“Longer-term, investors that have a fiduciary duty to protect the capital of their members are really going to be looking at resilient cities,” he said.

“No city can avoid adverse events, but resilient cities will bounce back more quickly.”

He explained that with some of the cities ranked lower on the list, if they are dealing with some sort of disaster, for example, it is not certain that they will be able to bounce back at all.

Specific areas the study looked at included:

  • vulnerability to climate changes or disasters, including earthquakes;
  • access to energy, water and food;
  • pollution or overconsumption of land;
  • government accountability;
  • press freedom; and
  • disaster plans.

Vancouver’s overall score was 97 out of a possible 100. It ranked first in all criteria except climate vulnerability, in which category the city came in the bottom 10. This is related to being in a low-lying coastal location, which makes it vulnerable to sea level rise.

Vancouver scored particularly well because of its strengths in the areas of governance and planning, and having good access to financial services within the city.

Toronto came in first worldwide, and Calgary rounded out the top three. Chicago was in top spot in the United States and fourth overall. The lowest scores were found in Cairo, Manila and Dhaka.
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