Metro home sales slowdown ‘a good start,’ premier says

Real estate prices too high, and municipalities have to do their share to make homes affordable, Premier Christy Clark says

Premier Christy Clark

The B.C. government is preparing more moves to improve urban housing affordability, and is satisfied with the early results of the foreign buyer tax, Premier Christy Clark says.

While real estate prices in Metro Vancouver have remained high, the pace of sales has slowed by more than 20 per cent since an additional 15 per cent property transfer tax was imposed Aug. 2 on buyers who are not citizens or permanent residents.

“There’s a real affordability crisis, particularly in the Lower Mainland. That’s why we made the changes that we did,” Clark said Tuesday. “So when I see the new numbers and they tell us that they’ve slowed down the price increases for housing, I say good, because that’s what we were trying to do. We’re going to have a lot more to do, and we’ll watch the numbers in the coming months, but I think it’s a good start.”

Clark said it’s too early to assess the effect of the new tax, but the government has no plans to change the foreign buyer tax rate or the new “luxury tax” on homes valued at more than $2 million.

With municipal politicians gathering in Victoria to meet with cabinet ministers in late September, Clark suggested they should be prepared to deal with the short supply of urban housing.

“We’ve heard that there’s something like 150,000 units that are today languishing in the planning departments of cities,” Clark said. “Some of them have been sitting there for seven years, It’s not a question of are we going to do more, because we are going to do more.”

 

Just Posted

Feds earmark $7.5 million to help keep Surrey teens out of gangs

It’s expected as many as 4,730 teenagers in Surrey will benefit from it

Louder helicopter partly to blame for rash of complaints in Surrey: RCMP

Police say helicopter training is conducted in Cloverdale because it’s ‘a very practical area where we do a lot of real police work’

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

White Rock council challenged by Lady Alexandra conundrum

Feedback on reviewed project from highrise site owner and residents reveals division

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal mascot name

Berry the Bandit officially unveiled, makes first public appearance tomorrow

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

Most Read