Category Archives: supply

Free money popular with first time buyers

The new BC first time buyer program is proving to be popular with over 1000 applicants who will hopefully vote for the current government in the next election.

“The B.C. Liberal government has received more than 1,000 applications from first-time home buyers who have been lured by new incentives under a program designed to improve housing affordability.”

“Critics, however, say the program is adding fuel to an already heated market for condos, notably in the Vancouver region.”

““Ottawa has been saying let’s have fewer highly leveraged buyers, but the province is saying we have to help the risky, leveraged first-time buyers get into the market,” Prof. Davidoff said in an interview Sunday. “The province has sweetened the pot.””

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

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.

Eliminate character to avoid affordability 

There are some old homes on Vancouver and some people think we shouldn’t be tearing down 1000 of them each year.  The city has some heritage and ‘character’ protections in place, but these have the unfortunate side effects of slowing the relentless rising of house prices:

“The real data on the house next door is that it reduced the value by 15 per cent,” said Jackson, whose neighbour’s house was re-listed and sold for less money after the city determined it has “character features” on the exterior. 

Read the full article here

In Vancouver your basement suite can be a mansion

Someone at zero hedge saw the unoccupied units stats for Vancouver and decided to refer to them all as ‘mansions’:

There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver

Yan said most of these were concentrated in three areas: Coal Harbour, Marine Gateway and Joyce-Collingwood. Surrey came in second at 11,195, Burnaby at 5,829 and Richmond at 4,021. The focus has clearly been on the most expensive neighborhoods: the number of unoccupied units increased 25% in Richmond between the 2011 and 2016 census and by 28 per cent in Burnaby.

To take advantage of this multi-million mansion ghost town, in November 2016 the Vancouver city council voted to approve a tax on empty homes, the first in Canada. Based on self-reporting owners, the tax is a one-per-cent charge on homes that are not principal residences or are not rented out for at least six months of the year. The goal was to improve Vancouver’s tight rental vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent by encouraging owners of thousands of empty units to offer them up for renting.

Read the full article here.

Toronto #1 (in empty homes)

You were feeling all proud about the number of empty homes in Vancouver weren’t you?  25 thousand, that’s a lot, but Toronto just had to outdo us:

Hold my beer Vancouver, we got this. The newly released 2016 Census numbers from Statistics Canada, show the City of Toronto saw Vancouver’s 25k+ unoccupied homes, and trumped it by another 74k units. Now with over 99k unoccupied homes in the city, speculation of Toronto real estate might be worse than previously thought.

Read the full article here.