30 months after the election, are we on track with tackling the housing crisis in BC?
The shortage of affordable housing in BC was a top political pain point in the last election, and citizens voted based on the party they felt had the best plan to tackle affordable housing.
Since the 2017 change of government, a lot of red-tape has been added to the process of buying and owning real estate in our Province. There has been a combined effort on the Provincial and Municipal levels to curb the use of short term rentals, vacant homes, out-of-province satellite families, and investors, but is it really working? In addition to the increase in taxes and costs on landowners, the Residential Tenancy Branch has added additional protections for tenants, making BC the province with the strictest protections for tenants and the harshest penalties for landlords who stray from the law.
This article in the Times Colonist on November 10th points out that the new taxes on Airbnb rentals have generated over $60 million in additional tax revenue:
Even with all this extra red tape and taxation, BC families are still paying a higher percentage of their income toward housing costs than any other province in Canada, and there is no end in sight.
In fact, it is likely going to get worse…
One of the big changes coming to BC which is not getting a lot of press is the new “Energy Step Code”. This will make the cost of new construction increase, which, you guessed it, will increase the cost of building new apartments/condos.
The solution to all of this is simple: Increase the supply of new housing by eliminating red tape in the planning stages and increase incentives to developers to create new housing stock. There are hundreds of developers and thousands of skilled tradespeople who are ready, willing, and able to build modern, efficient, and environmentally sustainable housing units. The government just needs to get out of the way.
What does this mean for the average homeowner or aspiring home-owner? Costs will continue to rise, and there is no shortage of demand for housing in our amazing Province.
Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.Will Rogers, Actor