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

Agassiz-Harrison Museum showcases refreshed galleries, exhibits

The museum opened for the season on the May long weekend

Chilliwack man urging drivers to follow rules of the road

‘People might think I’m stupid for doing this but it’s my life,’ says scooter operator

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

LETTER: Emergencies can wait on Sasquatch Mountain

Hemlock Valley resident Andy Ibbetson writes about his concerns on the new E-comm 911 service

Semi truck crashes into highway barrier cable near Chilliwack

Witnesses warning other drivers to watch for debris in other lanes

VIDEO: Quadriplegic man takes flight over Harrison Mills

Jim Ryan hasn’t moved his arms or legs for three years, but that didn’t stop him from paragliding

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read