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Red tape is a major influence in Vancouver’s housing scarcity

by Neil Sharma on 13 Feb 2019

Bureaucratic roadblocks continue to have a major influence on Metro Vancouver’s housing supply, as these intricacies have led to massively overdue project approvals, according to the recently released Market Intel real estate report by MLA Canada.

Burnaby, Vancouver, and the District of North Vancouver are the areas hit the hardest by these delays, with development approval timelines being among the longest (at nearly 2 years) in the region.

In addition, construction costs have increased by almost 50% on average over the past 5 years. This burden is almost always absorbed by the end consumer, the MLA study noted.

“2019 is expected to be highly competitive, but an overall balanced market with nominal price escalation will provide purchasers with choice and value,” MLA Canada chief advisory officer and partner Suzana Goncalves said.

Read more: Vancouver’s empty homes tax visibly improved vacancy rates, supply

One bit of good news is an increased volume of new stock incoming. MLA Intel is expecting 13,975 pre-sale units to be released this year, considerably above the 11,584 in 2018.

However, the study quickly added that B.C.’s population will experience consistent growth for the next several years, with roughly 50,000 new residents in 2019 alone.

“With job opportunities remaining high compared to other provinces, interprovincial migration will likely remain constant over the next three years. As housing starts are expected to decline in Metro Vancouver over the coming two years, this adds pressure to the housing market.”

MLA Canada executive director and partner Cameron McNeill urged the government at every level to “be progressive in our solutions to provide housing – the long-term viability of our cities depend on it.

“BC’s fundamentals remain stronger than elsewhere in the country. This means pressures on our housing market will continue, particularly with population increasing and housing starts declining.”


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