We often hear about how our shortage in supply of housing is the root cause for Metro Vancouver's skyrocketing prices, but maybe that's not the whole story.
John Rose, a geographer at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has studied housing supplies in Canada's 33 largest municipalities since 2001. He claims the record shows that while prices in Metro Vancouver escalated dramatically over the past 15 year, the supply actually grew during that period.
For every 100 individuals or families who moved to the region since 2001, there have been 119 housing units added to the market.
Rose says, 'The market has provided a lot of units, yet at the same time, we've seen affordability get degraded'. Rose contends that 'speculative investment' has resulted in tens of thousands of empty homes and have led to the regions sky high prices.
In 2016, the Metro Vancouver region had more than 60,000 vacant units. We have all this available supply, but they are just sitting empty.
Roses' word to policy makers is that we need to be really measured and careful about how we go forward, we really need to go forward in a different fashion from what we have been doing.
Perhaps we need more restictions or laws to be put in place to curb the speculative demand, because in the absence of that, we could add thousands upon thousands of housing units, but they are being easily snapped up by speculators and not getting to the people who need them.
Vancouver is currently in a league of its own as the most unaffordable housing market in North America, surpassing New York and San Francisco.
The average family income is $81,608, while the median homes sale price in the City of Vancouver is more that 17 times greater at about $1.7 million.
Don't you think it time to make some changes? Maybe start with stopping the sale of assignements with pre-sale developements. Reduce the incentive for 'the investor', and give the first time buyer a greater chance of a reasonable purchase. Your thoughts?