(The Canadian Press)

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

The British Columbia government says it’s already seeing positive results from the policies it put in place to address the housing crisis, but one expert says there’s still a long way to go.

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the government is seeing some high-end house prices starting to drop.

“Right now we’ve got the speculation and empty home taxes, so part of what we need to do is monitor the impact that it has and continue to see what it does,” Robinson said in an interview Sunday.

But Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, says that while very expensive houses are starting to show a decline in price, the numbers haven’t translated to mid- and lower-level units.

“Sixteen months is a little bit premature to know whether the polices are a success or failure,” Yan said, referring to the approximate time the NDP minority government has been in power.

“But the softening of the market and cooling of the market is something that is definitely happening.”

He said despite that softening, home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families.

READ MORE: B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

To tackle the issue, the provincial government is investing $7 billion on affordable housing over the next 10 years, and has developed a 30-point plan to increase affordability.

However, Yan said some of the announcements made by the government are just that — announcements.

“They are not actual shovels in the ground yet,” he said.

While there is some actual construction going on, he said it’s still going to take years before the promises take the shape of homes that people can move into.

“It will take a combination of supply and demand policies to really get us out of the housing crisis mess,” he said.

Meantime, B.C. Premier John Horgan says the housing crisis didn’t happen overnight — and it won’t resolve overnight.

Addressing attendees at a housing conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Horgan said the government will have to work with partners including Indigenous communities, transgender and social justice advocates and women’s groups to resolve the crisis.

Horgan said it’s not just affecting those who have small incomes, but is creeping into the middle-class too.

He said his government is doing its best to ensure that critical work staff such as teachers, nurses and construction workers have houses so that they can build the economy.

British Columbia should not be a place to fear because of unaffordable housing, Horgan said.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gitdumden checkpoint blocks access to Unist’ot’en camp

Wet’suwet’en clan members say Morice Lake Forest Service Rd checkpoint in effect until further notice.

Regional unemployment rate drops

But fewer people are working overall

Horizon North construction to start soon

The first gear will start rolling into Kitimat at the beginning of 2019

Haisla yet to sign LNG benefits deals with the province

Other First Nations already receiving cash payments

Area First Nations benefit from LNG Canada project

Agreements with province provide cash, land

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read