Category Archives: economy

HALT Rally Recap

HALT_YVR wrote in with a recap of this weekends rally and a link to video of the first 4 speakers:

Hi all,

We just wanted to say thanks to everyone that managed to make it out to our rally this Saturday. Despite the lousy weather, we managed to get 200 people out to make noise about this housing crisis slowly grinding local Vancouverites into dust. We had some great speakers that ran the gamut from average citizens to lawyers, economists, and activists. For those that didn’t get a chance to make it out, here’s a video of the first 4 of our 6 speakers. It’s long at 45 min but well worth the listen: https://youtu.be/h6wRS-fMHi4

We’ll keep you posted on future events that are just now in the planning stages. Expect another event to draw attention to our housing crisis and pressure government in the next two months.

In the meantime like our FB Page to keep up with all the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/HALTVancouver/

Thanks again for your support,
The HALT Team

Housing Action Rally Saturday Sept 17th 2pm

 

Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT) is a group of Vancouverites whose goal is to pressure government to take action on local housing affordability.

HALT wrote in to let everyone at VCI know they are holding a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery this Saturday Sept 17th at 2pm.

They have a  great line up of speakers including Christine Duhaime the Vancouver lawyer focused money laundering.

More information can be found on their Facebook page.

Here’s some info from their comment yesterday:

Specifically we are calling on Government to:
– HALT money laundering and tax fraud by individuals hiding their money in our housing market
– HALT Immigrant Investor Programs that bring in owners who do not contribute to our income tax base
– HALT corporate donations to political parties. For too long, our governments have served moneyed interests and not the interests of the citizens of our city and our province
– HALT AirBnB of our rental stock. We need regulations in place to protect our renters
– HALT demolitions of affordable rentals that are being replaced by unaffordable luxury condos marketed to offshore buyers

We’ve got a great panel of speakers lined up including:
– Christine Duhaime, a lawyer heavily involved in catching foreign money launderers in Vancouver
– Josh Gordon, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University, who has done extensive research on the impact of foreign capital on our housing market
– Dr. Darren Joneson, whose housing story we featured on our Facebook page
– Caroline Adderson, author of the book “Vancouver Vanishes” owner of FB community of the same name, will talk about demolitions of heritage homes, zoning and how we create density in a liveable, sustainable city
– Paul Kershaw, founder of Generation Squeeze, who will talk about the the challenges millenials face in getting into the housing market and Gen Squeeze’s “Homes First” policy.

Please come out, stand up, be counted, and let our government officials know that enough is enough!

Thanks for your support,
The HALT Team

You can find more info on their Facebook page and at haltvancouver.org.

The ‘cry wolf’ club

There are a few organizations that have raised a public alarm over the state of the Canadian housing market, with particular focus on Toronto and Vancouver:

The IMF, The Bank of Canada, The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Most of the big banks, The OECD, and more.

It seems that everyone is freaking out about the Canadian housing market.

Despite industry assurances that the hottest housing markets in Canada, particularly Vancouver, will always remain hot, and that it is physically impossible for prices to decline in this miracle economy, Canadians are now becoming aware that those assurances have just been another load of industry hype. And a larger share of them are starting to grapple with a new reality – a reality in an over-leveraged, inflated housing market where prices have come to rest on the edge of a cliff.

In Vancouver’s once white-hot commercial real estate market, the hunt is now on for Chinese buyers as big institutional investors are trying to unload.

And yet, despite years of warnings here we are near record high house prices. If you bought a few years back and sold a month ago, you’ve done quite well.

So it seems we’re now entering another down phase, with reports of softening sales and prices, especially at the high end. The warnings are getting louder, but of course there are always people who propose that this market is different and will never truly crash.

Sometimes the number of warnings and lack of crash almost seems to prove it – Just like the boy who cried wolf, we start to get desensitized to all the warnings.  Unfortunately for some of the villagers we all know how that story ends.

Will dropping house values help affordability?

According to RBC, Vancouver just saw the biggest back to back deterioration in housing affordability in 26 years of record keeping. So for those thinking they might want to be able to afford property, they might like to hear that the Vancouver market is apparently ‘softening’ according to TD:

A new study suggests the two hottest real estate markets in Canada appear to be headed in different directions, as Vancouver softens and Toronto looks to maintain its momentum.

In a report published Tuesday, TD Bank said Vancouver has started what is expected to be a modest correction, which will be reinforced by the recent implementation of the land transfer tax on non-residents.

“Home prices are projected to decline by about 10 per cent in the region by mid-2017, before stabilizing later in the year,” TD said.

Of course even with that predicted price decline, it’s not exactly going to bring Vancouver house prices into the really ‘affordable’ range.  Read the full article here.