A Desperate Need for More Affordable Housing in B.C.


Housing is more expensive in British Columbia than any other province because Vancouver is considered to be the most expensive city in the country. And it isn’t only Vancouver that is regarded as one of the most expensive cities to live in the country that also happens to be located in B.C.

The average rent for a one bedroom is roughly $1900, $2000 or more for a 2 bedroom.

There is a need for more housing stock in the region, people need affordable options so that they aren’t spending between 30-50 percent of their pay on just housing alone. The government is aware of the problem and has promised to focus on that issue previously, pledging to spend millions to build thousands of affordable homes.

Young people today in B.C. need a solution that is coming soon, they want to know that one day they will be able to afford a place of their own, not 100 years from now.

Before many of the new homes are even finished being built they have already been flipped and the price increased. The government has tried various tools to fix this problem, like their vacancy tax and requirements for down payment minimums etc, but there is still an issue with the market and affordable housing availability.

The average income in Vancouver cannot sustain this sort of housing cost, it is getting harder and harder for students, single individuals, seniors, even families as well, to find something that works for them and is affordable. There are also issues with rental freedom restrictions, such as many rentals not allowing pets for example.

The Vancouver city council recently passed a motion to end those ‘no pets’ restrictions in rental contracts.

In Vancouver there are families and individuals who have had to drop their pets off at the SPCA because they couldn’t move into their new home under those no pet policy restrictions. The change is now no doubt going to help some families and individuals be able to retain their pets and hopefully decrease a little bit of that pressure that had been placed on SPCA facilities to take them in.

In the Vancouver region and elsewhere in B.C. we have seen that detached home prices are rising and the goal of owning a home one day is moving further away for many living in the region.

The housing costs in B.C. are a top issue to consider for many voters. They want to know that the future is going to look brighter for their children, that there won’t be an inescapable housing bubble that goes on for decades that they cannot keep up with. Over the years the housing crisis is getting worse and there doesn’t seem to be any significant plans from the B.C. government as far as how to seriously change that, if there are then those plans don’t seem to be working so far.

Now in Vancouver we are seeing bidding wars in real estate where people are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price. A number of finance experts and market analysts have suggested that Vancouver is in a real estate bubble and has been for some time.

B.C. also recently proposed rent freeze legislation and new measures to try and stop renovictions that keep happening around the region, but some say it’s too little too late. That the reforms are too weak to make significant changes as far as helping with affordability.

Though there are suggestions that the Vancouver real estate market might be in a bubble, many suspect it is only going to increase and prices get higher and higher as the years go on.

Still, there are only going to be so many individuals or families who can afford these prices, as there isn’t an unlimited number of cash buyers or creditworthy buyers out there who will be willing to pay any amount you could imagine. It’s only reasonable to assume that there are limits and that this market like others will at one point see falling real estate prices for some period, even if it isn’t for that long.

Categories: bc, news, opinion, real estate, vancouver

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