A further panel discussion took place at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre in order to discuss the issue of housing costs, ownership and affordability in the Vancouver area.
The dilemma is clear as a recent study named Vancouver as the second most unaffordable city out of 325 cities in the world.
A single detached home in the Vancouver area has risen to a hefty 1 million dollars. This despite the fact that the median incomes for families have hardly seen any increase in decades.
Young people and families seeking to purchase their first home in Vancouver and often even in the North shore, Richmond and Burnaby often find themselves completely shut out of the Vancouver real estate market. Apparently even local hospitals, businesses and universities are struggling with recruitment for positions because even well paid professionals are unable to afford the costs of living in the city.
Unfortunately, while most cities in the world do keep some tabs on foreign ownership of property in their regions, neither the Canadian government nor Metro Vancouver itself do. As such, understanding just how much foreign ownership is affecting housing costs can be difficult to discern.
B.C. politicians, for whatever reason, seem to be unwilling to begin collecting this important data. Without such information it is almost impossible to determine to what extent the foreign investment is actually affecting the Vancouver real estate market.
While for some, the foreign investment is a great thing. But the fact remains that many of those living in the city, the cost of housing is a huge burden. Until we are able to gather some proper figures and then decide what might be done to either limit or possibly impose regulations on foreign investment in the city, very little can actually be done to address the affordability crisis.