Vancouver mayor sounds alarm on housing price risks

In a statement on Sunday (June 5), Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson warned that the area’s intensely overheated housing market is about to reach the breaking point as any major shocks to the sector will drastically impact the city’s economy.
 
As reported by Chad Pawson of CBC News, Robertson cited studies and reports by economists, financial institutions, and real estate boards that point at an inescapable conclusion: the time to act on out-of-control housing price growth is now.
 
“These trends are not sustainable and we need to be wide awake to the risks they pose to the stability of our economy, let alone the impact they have in pushing local residents, especially young people, families, and seniors, out of our neighbourhoods,” Robertson said.
 
Latest figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver support Robertson’s statement, with the average price of a detached home in the city having increased by 37 per cent on a year-over-year basis last week.
 
Robertson added that the so-far unrestricted influx of foreign money into the city needs to be addressed, primarily via added taxation on house flipping and luxury sales that would “help create a level playing field in the Vancouver housing market.”
 
“With unregulated, speculative global capital flowing into Metro Vancouver's real estate, we are seeing housing prices completely disconnected from local incomes,” said Robertson. “First and foremost, housing needs to be for homes, not just treated as a commodity.”

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