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

North Saanich pedals ahead with bike lane expansion

Road alignment modifications made following resident feedback

Oath of office not needed: North Saanich councillor

District council set to approve oath that had been repealed in 2012

After dark: Sandown construction goes overnight

Noise concerns from Sidney could stop nighttime work schedule

Pioneer Park chosen as site of Central Saanich’s new cenotaph

After some back and forth over the years, Central Saanich councillors chose… Continue reading

Central Saanich property taxes may rise 2.97 per cent

Higher police costs due to new CRD dispatch

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Rookie boxer gains new self-confidence

After ten weeks of training ‘Killer’ Gibson is ‘unstoppable’

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Former Island hockey player dies suddenly in Costa Rica

Well known and popular former hockey and lacrosse player dies in accident while travelling

Wounded Warrior Run BC makes it to the Comox Valley

Day four of the annual fundraiser saw the team stop in Courtenay and Comox

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Most Read