With increasing demand for housing from a strong economy and steady population growth, and restricted supply of single-family homes, prices for single family in most areas of Greater Vancouver have increased between 45% and 70% over the last five years. Prices for multi-family homes, in contrast, have increased between 14% and 40%. The most-recent data show there are about as many single family dwellings in the Vancouver census metropolitan area as in 1991, while the number of condominium units doubled in that time.
In Budget 2016, the Province changed the Property Transfer Tax to help the market respond to mounting demand for housing. The Newly Built Home Exemption offers an incentive for buyers to purchase new construction priced up to $750,000, by providing property transfer tax relief up to $13,000.
Budget 2016 includes measures to provide more affordable housing options for lower-income earners. Capital spending of $355 million over five years will support the construction or renovation of more than 2,000 affordable housing units in communities throughout the province.
Premier Christy Clark ─
“In a fast-rising market, some individuals seek to profit at the expense of homeowners and buyers. Today’s steps address immediate concerns while the Real Estate Council’s independent advisory group conducts its review and brings forward further recommendations on practices in the market. We will work with the City of Vancouver, and then other local governments and the UBCM, on housing affordability issues such as supply and taxation.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson ─
“The provincial government’s move to prevent ‘shadow flipping’ is a good first step to reduce the unhealthy speculation that is taking place in our housing market. As Vancouver’s economy grows, we need to make sure that our housing is first and foremost for homes, not to be treated as a commodity. Vancouver City Hall will continue to seek out every option to both protect and increase affordable housing, and I look forward to meeting with the ministers to discuss new tools for both the Province and cities to do so.”
Scott Russell, president BC Real Estate Association ─
“BCREA supports strategies that prevent questionable or unethical activities by real estate agents. While the vast majority of agents in British Columbia work diligently for the best interests of their clients, we applaud the provincial government for taking action to ensure all buyers and sellers are protected.”
- On average, private-sector forecasters expect B.C.’s economic growth to rank first among provinces in 2016 and tie for first in 2017 (with Ontario).
- The Lower Mainland is growing at a rapid pace. BC Stats estimates that the population of Metro Vancouver will grow by about 185,000 people over the next five years.
- As a result, pressure on the housing and rental markets will continue to increase if steps are not taken to increase densification and ensure an adequate supply of new housing.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia has established an independent advisory group to review rules governing licensee conduct: http://www.advisorygroupbc.ca/