Category Archives: politics

And now a political message from Dave

Dave sent in the following opinion, in which he throws up his hands in despair at the state of politics in BC and its role in the housing bubble.

If there was ever an election to vote for None of the Above, this would be it.

I no longer believe that any of the three major parties represent the interests of the average British Columbian. Each have sold themselves out to Special Interest groups of one type or another.

I’ll first start with the BC Liberals because they are looking for a fifth term. I have been a party member, volunteer and voter for the BC Liberals each of the last four elections. I am also a small business owner and employer and I generate a healthy income. In theory, I’m the easiest vote the Liberals should ever get. But they aren’t getting my vote this time.

Continue reading And now a political message from Dave

Mortgage group urges government to not discourage more debt.

Recent tweaks to housing rules are cutting into mortgage brokers business. They are asking lawmakers to relax existing rules and put the brakes on new rules:

While Ottawa considers what to include in the budget, the mortgage group is urging the government to avoid taking any drastic and unnecessary action because of isolated pockets of danger.

The new rules “disproportionately affect competitive positions of small and mid-sized lenders,” Kerzner said. “There’s a real and growing sentiment that activity in Toronto and Vancouver is negatively impacting those in the rest of the country.”

Read the full article over at the CBC.

Getting Denser

There is a move afoot to discourage owners from tearing down pre 1940s character homes in Vancouver, but this brings concerns that such a move would limit development and supply.

The mayor agrees and is making statements hinting at increasing housing mix in low density neighborhoods:

“People are feeling squeezed out,” said Robertson.

He argues since 2011, more than 1000 people have left neighbourhoods like Dunbar, Arbutus Ridge and Kerrisdale — neighbourhoods that feature character-style homes.

“It’s clear our lowest density neighbourhoods are changing and we need to make sure they’re changing for the people who need them,” he said.

Robertson says, “now is the right time to advance the conversation for more affordability and a mix of housing types that fit within our single family home neighbourhoods.”

His statement says that mix could include townhomes, row houses, and duplexes.

Meanwhile, roughly 1,000 homes are torn down every year in Vancouver and the majority of those were built before 1940.

Read the full article here.

Banks would rather not take on more risk

southseacompany pointed out this article in the financial post:

Canada’s banks are pushing back against taking on more mortgage risk

“Canada’s financial industry is urging the federal government to consider alternatives to proposals that could require them to take on a greater share of mortgage defaults through a deductible — calling it one of the biggest shakeups to hit housing finance in 50 years.”

Read the full article here.

Axing the property transfer tax

The Premier would like to get rid of or minimize the property transfer tax but it currently just brings in too much money.

“We really want to start knocking down the property transfer tax because it is a drag on our economy. It is one thing that we can do to try and increase affordability,” Clark said.

“Why don’t we do it in this budget? Because this year we brought in $928 million in revenue. The only way to replace that would be to raise taxes elsewhere,” she said.

Is the buying and selling of homes where our economy needs a boost?

Read the full article here.