CMHC and the rental housing market

Over at the The Star, our mayor has helped to write an opinion piece asking that the CMHC provide more loans for rental housing construction:

For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes. Facing high home prices, large personal debts, and an uncertain economy, fewer Canadians can buy a new home today than in the past, and they are choosing to rent instead.

Unfortunately, in many cities finding an affordable place to rent is nearly impossible. The most immediate problem is supply. Vacancy rates under 3 per cent push rents up. In Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, it’s 1.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates this low force our young people to move out of the city, threaten seniors on fixed incomes, and have a negative impact on local businesses.

That’s why this spring’s federal budget must put Canada’s rental housing market on solid ground, by pursuing low-cost, high-leverage policies that get jobs on the ground and build housing Canadians can afford.

It’s like magic, creating jobs and homes.  What could go wrong with a ‘low-cost, high-leverage’ policy like that?

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gordholio
Member

The Tyee has begun a series on the local real estate insanity. I have no idea where this series will go and what conclusions it will reach. One can only hope…

http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/03/12/Want_To_Stay/

jesse
Member

The Mayor should of course be aware that CMHC is casting off its cooperative portfolio in about 8 years, now he wants them to step up with some other scheme for affordable housing.

@ MayorGregor should take a page from New York and tell the weak and poor to hoof it on transit like everyone else or “consider their options”. His city has fancy plans. I heard Alberta is chomping at the bit for labourers.

chilled
Member
chilled

Why build apartments when developers can make quick and obscene profits on shabbily built condos and walk away even before the expiration of their faux warranties?

Unless, of course, Robertson is suggesting government built, Soviet style apartment blocks to house the masses? Government, but not HIS government. LOL!!!!

The only thing that will truly encourage construction of rental stock is a return to sanity in housing prices.

chilled
Member
chilled

@gordholio:

The irony of this Tyee story amazes me. In context, the Tyee is a socialist rag written by a bunch of wanna be journalist pukes who ban anyone and any idea from their discussion boards who has an idea that conflicts with what their professor tells them.

jesse
Member

@chilled: “The only thing that will truly encourage construction of rental stock is a return to sanity in housing prices”

Here’s the thing, though: there are tons of rentals out there, being built via semi-legal basement suites and the newly-minted laneway houses. Low-density detached bungalows are being redeveloped into 3-story Vancouver Specials with 3-4 suites. Robertson needs to better define what he means by “affordabile”.

chilled
Member
chilled

@jesse:

Yes I agree, but in my world proper ‘rental stock’ is apartment buildings, town homes or houses built for the express purpose of renting to long term tenants, properly managed and marketed as same. NOT living in some dysfunctional middle class family’s basement listening to the autistic child bounce off the walls, hearing the older sister scream that she wants to die.

Absinthe
Member
Absinthe

@gordholio: I came over to drop that link and say pretty much the same thing, Gord! He sounds pretty aware that it’s insane…

jesse
Member

@chilled: The insulation through new houses’ floors, if they installed concrete-leveled radiant heating (if they are installed properly) is better than insulated walls on purpose-built rentals.

I disagree wholeheartedly with the landlord-tenant aspect of RS-detached builds but… some of the suites I’ve seen have decent soundproofing, certainly better than many newer condos. Laneways seem to be charging rents way more than they’re worth IMO but they give good sound privacy.

gordholio
Member

#6, Absinthe: Agreed, he does. But there’s so many ways he can take this thing.

Indeed, I wonder why he didn’t drop by VCI for a little feedback. Too busy talking to realtors and their “economists?”

Ah, so easy to be cycnical.

Funny, I pitched the same idea to The Tyee twice last year, only to get rejected as many times…

Meh
Guest
Meh

I think I’m like a lot of people who can’t return to a basement suite. On top of the sound issues, you start to feel subterranean and literally “lower” class. It has a psychological impact, unless you are really young and don’t care.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@Meh:

Basement suites are for students.

Period.

gordholio
Member

Steve Darling interviewed a mortage specialist during the Glowball noon news today. High kudos to the mortgage person (wish I could remember her name) for being extremely forthright re: the pitfalls and restrictions of the new cheapo mortgages. She also very matter-of-factly touched on the purported elimination of “stated income” mortgages.

The only annoyance? Darling responding to stated income mortgage elimination in typical Darling fashion: “Well, that’s no good.” What a total buffoon. Only slightly worse are his sports highlight voice-overs.

Anywho, if I was a relatively uninformed potential home buyer or mortgage switcher-upperer, I would have come away from the interview with much better insight into the realities.

gordholio
Member

Garth Turner pointed this out in one of his tweets today: An 8-plex in Windsor for $150,000. Not exactly upscale, but I just checked the MLS and you can’t buy *anything* in Vancouver/Burnaby for $150,000. Nothing – not even a 400 sq ft hamster cage.

http://www.icx.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?&PropertyId=11386788&PidKey=-1822507907

cico
Guest
cico

Hi guys do you have any good rental sites other than Craigslist?
I am looking to rent 2 bed 2 bath for 2 years but all the rentals are so small.
thanks.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@cico: what are your requirements (size, location, price, etc…)?

paintedturtle
Member
paintedturtle

@CICO

Why are people voting down someone asking for help ?

Try rentgeek Vancouver. It worked for us. You need a facebook log in.

cico
Guest
cico

HEY I don’t want to buy, I am just a poor renter.
What is wrong with you?
There are people that can’t afford to buy; but the chinese/ russian stile 2 bed condos are what they are an extension of 1 bedroom.
For $1600-2-bed 800sq.ft ?; just give me a brake;
I hope the 2 bedrooms will stay forever empty.. to please the chinese ” investors”
Aloha.

Makaya
Member
Makaya

@cico: padmapper.com is good also.

Drachen
Member

@jumpin in:

Because it’s off topic. There are lots of places for that sort of question, this isn’t one of them.

Yaya
Guest
Yaya

There are lots of places for that sort of question, this isn’t one of them.

What a jerk! If a housing blog with a topic on rental housing isn’t the place to ask about where to find good rentals I don’t know what is.

The best place I ever found to rent was through the courier classifieds. Looking where other people don’t usually look can lead to some gems. In my experience Craigslist tends to be overrun with garbage and dreamers asking pie-in-the sky prices.

Yalie
Guest
Yalie

Your best bets online are:

craigslist (keep in mind many asking prices are too high – lowball them)
kijiji (ditto above)
padmapper

But your real issue is that you want a big 2-bedroom for a decent price. So it really comes down to location. There are plenty of these available if you’re willing to live outside of downtown Vancouver – e.g. PoCo, Coquitlam, New West, etc.

Alternatively, you can probably find a decent 2-bedroom downtown in your price range if you’re willing to live in an older building in the West End. Prices are about 30-40% less than in other parts of downtown, but buildings are older and usually don’t have laundry/dishwashers etc. The best way to find these is to walk around the area and look for the many signs posted in front of the buildings.

Good luck

squeako
Guest
squeako
Right on Yaya, It is amusing how some assume that their dungeon dump is highly desirable. Unfortunately, I have decided to move away from my current landlord as this person does not understand that renting out includes some responsibilities and courtesies, not only getting money. There are no free lunches for anybody, and that inludes landlords, you want to make a buck, you need to dish something out, it is not only a one way street. And one poster said, they need absolutely start building affordable, quality rentals, you cannot hold a population under siege by not supplying decent rentals. I wonder how many couples have decided not to have kids b/c of no housing, and basement suites dont count, ty. It is frustrating not to be able to find reasonable rentals, and buying would be the total idiot thing… Read more »
chilled
Member
chilled

@gordholio:

“Steve Darling interviewed a mortage specialist during the Glowball noon news today…………”

I’ve always envisioned Steve Darling and Ozzie Jurock in a hot dog eating contest at a Remax family picnic.

Makaya
Member
Makaya

While waiting for paulb’s numbers tonight, here is what’s happening in Victoria…

March 2012 month to date
Net Unconditional Sales: 152
New Listings: 465
Active Listings: 3832
Sales to new listings ratio: 33%

March 2011
Net Unconditional Sales: 622
New Listings: 1501
Active Listings: 4100
Sales to new listings ratio: 41%
Sales to active listings ratio: 15% or 6.6 MOI

VanDweller
Member
VanDweller

@Makaya:

Are the numbers for 2011 the net for the entire month of March or are they representing only the numbers for the first couple of weeks of March?

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