New government, new housing mandate.
In your role as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Partner with local governments and First Nations to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.
- Through partnerships with local governments, the federal govenrment, and the private and not-for- profit sectors, begin to build 114,000 units of affordable market rental, non-profit,
co-op, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing.
- Create new student housing by removing unnecessary rules that prevent universities and colleges from building affordable student housing.
- Amend the Residential Tenancy Act to provide stronger protections for renters, and provide additional resources to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
- With the Minister of Finance, deliver an annual renter’s rebate of $400 dollars per rental household to improve rental affordability.
- Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.
- Work with the Minister of Finance to address speculation, tax fraud and money laundering in the housing market.
- As the Minister responsible for TransLink, support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation by funding 40%of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government.
We suspect many people reading here are disappointed that Eby isn’t the housing minister and are curious to see how that second to last point turns out. You can read the full letter here.
An article over at the province says that real estate sales in Vancouver and Toronto have slowed, but don’t expect prices to follow:
“We’ll still have very lofty prices in Toronto and Vancouver. If we’re expecting the market to become instantly affordable that’s not going to happen. Given the low interest rates and rapid population inflow, they will still be expensive markets but we’re moving away, thankfully, from the days where there was incredible pressure for buyers to get in before prices grew another 40 per cent,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Douglas Porter said.
read the full article here.
In Canada ‘middle class’ currently seems to mean ‘deep in debt’ and rate hikes are a looming threat on the middle class :
For one view of Canada’s rate hike, consider the case of David and Neera. He can’t get a raise, is worried about retirement and they borrowed money a couple years ago to fix the roof. Interest costs will jump now, with vacations and kids’ clothes already out of reach.
Justin Trudeau’s entire economic agenda is aimed at David and Neera — we know, because he invented them. Their story anchored the Liberal government’s debut budget, tying together the impact of all the prime minister’s measures. Now they’re a cautionary tale.
“Canadian families are also taking on more debt to make ends meet,” the 2016 budget said. “For David and Neera, this debt is a constant source of worry.”
Read the full article over that the Financial Post.
With interest rates going up there’s good news and bad news for housing. It can make it tough for people who are stretched thin financially, but might be good news for people waiting to buy:
The people who will benefit are those who have a nest egg and have been waiting for the right time to buy a home, he said.
“The real winner here is somebody sitting on a $800,000 down payment who says I’m going to wait for prices to fall.”
Overall, interest rates will continue to rise, added Brander. He predicts mortgage-lending rates could increase by several percentage points in the coming years. But as long as those increases are incremental, like Wednesday’s announcement, the economy will be able to absorb it, he said.
Seems like it’s always a good time to be sitting on an $800k down payment, but maybe we’re just optimists. Read the full article here.
Here’s a surprise – it turns out if you hand out $13 Million in loans to the general population to buy a product, the price of that product rises.
In this case the product is condos and the $13M comes courtesy of taxpayers and the BC liberal governments ‘BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership’ program.
As it turns out though, not everyone things this is the smartest thing in the world. UBC economist Tom Davidoff sounds downright unenthusiastic:
The BC Liberals announced the program back in December, arguing it would help young families crack into the red-hot housing market.
But critics warned that financially stretched buyers would take on risk by essentially starting a second mortgage and that the infusion of cash could drive prices up.
Davidoff said that second case appears to be playing out, with people using the program now accounting for about five to 10 per cent of condo purchases.
“When there’s too many people chasing too few houses, pushing more people to get in on the action just seems like a really dumb idea.”
Condo sales have been driving the Metro Vancouver real estate market in recent months, and the average unit price now sits at about $655,000.
For the month of May, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver found 95 per cent of all condos listed had sold, with prices up more than 17 per cent year over year.
Read the full article over at global news.