Wednesday, November 21, 2018

B.C. gov’t has yet to make good on affordability commitments

While B.C.’s home prices have shown signs of going down in recent months, a market observer has argued that firmer action from the government is still needed to fully address the city’s affordability crunch.

Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, said that the leadership has yet to fulfill crucial announcements like its much-touted $7-billion housing affordability strategy, a project expected to take 10 years.

“They are not actual shovels in the ground yet,” Yan told The Canadian Press “It will take a combination of supply and demand policies to really get us out of the housing crisis mess.”

Such intervention is especially important now, as the aforementioned price declines – attributed by many to taxes aimed at foreign buyers and empty residences – are not apparent in the middle and lower price ranges.

According to a recent analysis by Knight Frank LLP, Vancouver saw the largest drop in average sale prices in the luxury segment (11%) worldwide during Q3 2018.

Read more: New tax may stifle investment in B.C., fears industry

Data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed that the benchmark price of a non-luxury home in the region was at $1.062 million in October, just a tiny bit lower than the $1.094-million peak recorded in May 2018

During the same time frame, sales activity considerably went down by 34.9%, and total volume for October 2018 (1,966 completed deals) was 26.8% lower than the 10-year average for that month.

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