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

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Most Read