Red tape is stifling new homes in Vancouver

by Steve Randall27 Apr 2017
The City of Vancouver’s supply of new homes is being stifled by excessive red tape according to the Fraser Institute.

The report shows that the city has the highest regulatory burden in the Lower Mainland and that’s affecting supply and prices.

“Increasing housing supply in Vancouver could help lower prices, but unfortunately there are a lot of confusing and costly regulations on the books that deter new homes from being built,” said Kenneth Green, a senior research director at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the study.

Getting a building permit approved in the City of Vancouver will take an average 21 months; in West Vancouver it’s 18.3 months, in Surrey 13.2 months. For those wanting to build in the City of Langley, approval can take just 2 months.

“Compared to the City of Langley, it takes an average of 19 months longer to receive a building permit in Vancouver—a fact that should worry anyone concerned about high home prices in the city because the added time means extra costs that are ultimately passed on to homebuyers,” Green said.

Cost is also higher in Vancouver with an estimated $78,000 for every new unit built compared to the City of Langley where it’s less than $10,000.

Other parts of the Lower Mainland with lower levels of regulation include Pitt Meadows, New Westminster, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam.

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