(The Canadian Press)

(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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Hotel Zed Tofino. (Westerly file photo)
Two Tofino businesses up for building awards

14th annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read