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The crash doesn’t mean housing is suddenly affordable

October 10th, 2008 · 2 Comments

For many people, the news that house and condo prices are dropping and that developers are even offering things like mortgage payments for a year, discounted mortgage rates or free upgrades on finishes is great. But the reality is that, even though prices are softening, they still haven’t — and won’t — drop down to where they were three years ago. For those of you who follow real estate, you’ll know that prices pretty much doubled in a three-year period. That means that housing prices are still disconnected from local wages.

People have been hunting for decades for ways to make housing affordable to working-class and middle-income people in Vancouver. I have a story in BCBusiness here this month that takes a look at some of the solutions that are being tried locally and what might be in store for the city, if politicians and planners decide to get even more aggressive on this issue.

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  • Good article.

    So has Ladner or Robertson committed to not allow any rental properties to be converted into condos unless the developer commit to building the same amount of rental housing stock they destroy at the same time vs promising they’ll do it in the future and never doing it? If not maybe you might ask that question at the next debate.

    It would be nice to get the feds to bring back tax write offs for apts, but that’s something no municipal politician can guarantee.

    Maybe they could charge hefty fees for every condo being developed and invest those fees into creating rental stock. Or make it so expensive to build a new condo that it’s cheaper for a developer to build an apartment.

  • I find “affordable” a funny word, affordable to whom?
    Is it affordable to share bathrooms with the SRO people you could have issues sharing a Bus or a restaurant bathroom with?
    Small rooms affordable to a person’s mental health?
    What is affordable defined by someone?
    I often have this question when I here this in all product sales; affordable has become another meaningless marketing sales pitch buzz word.

    To Liberty!

    Gölök Zoltán Buday
    “If You Have A Lawsuit, Your Goods, Your Honor, Your Very Life Depends On The Very Interpretation Of A Book You Never Read.” — Francois “Voltaire” Marie Arouet; Phil. Dictionary.