One candidate in the upcoming election is focusing on the issue of house prices in Vancouver. Independent Sandy Garossino thinks that Foreign buyers are driving up Vancouver property prices and pushing out young families.
Garossino said that if the average median income in Metro Vancouver is $67,500 and the average price of a house in Vancouver stays at around $800,000, then it’s locals who will be forced out.
Garossino said she knows placing ownership restrictions is not an easy solution and that there are complex and sensitive issues involved. Still, she said, local affordability needs to be addressed.
“This is such a concern to me. Where are families going to raise their children?”
Garossino says other cities facing similar problems have have workable solutions.
“Singapore has zoning requirements that allow certain areas to be freely available to the international investor and other areas are only available to domestic buyers.”
Two Mayoral candidates seem to have noticed that this issue is getting attention and added their own thoughts. Gregor Robertson sort of thinks it might be an issue, but see’s the next couple of years as the time to look at the problem and figure out what to do about it.
Gregor Robertson told CBC News Sunday that the city needs to understand the role foreign ownership is playing before taking any steps to change it.
“I see these next couple years as assessing what the problem is, how significant it is, and what best tools are that might address it,” Robertson said.
Suzanne Anton believes that people shouldn’t have to leave Vancouver to buy a home, but doesn’t think foreign buyers are the problem.
Dave Anton says the solution is to cut development costs so that builders can pass on the savings to buyers.
“Market-based solutions to housing supply are the only effective means of creating real affordability,” Anton said.
“Everything else is a gimmick.”