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Wherein less expensive = “hurting housing affordability.” Go figure.
Grateful to those who've expressed concern regarding recent reports that a prominent #WestVan Realtor stated we "should be shot" for our efforts to moderate #VanRE. Debate is part of a healthy democracy; violence is not.
The entire system of housing we've devised in western society is sick and on life support. The same basic structure exists in multiple locations. In large cities, prices are often out of sync with any rational reality. Compared with the US, New York or San Francisco are still more expensive than Toronto or Vancouver. $2500 in Toronto will at least get you a decent condo to rent downtown, $2500 in Manhattan will probably still give you a 300 sq ft bachelor pad with some rats. And that's USD. Buying property in these locations is only for the upper 5-10% of incomes. They've isolated everyone else out of their markets. This is a classic case of economic segregation, the only way to segregate legally is by making it unaffordable for the masses.
Meanwhile, rural areas have properties valued at virtually nothing. You can buy property in rural northern Ontario for under $100k still to this very day. Same in hardship towns dotting America's rust belt, like Youngstown Ohio.
Housing should be viewed as a utility of life, not simply an investment, but we have turned it into an investment vehicle. There are winners and there are losers when homes are simply day trading stocks.
That's what needs to change. Considering governments rely on ever-expanding tax revenues from ever increasing housing prices, the government doesn't have any real interest in seeing housing prices decline and become affordable. All they offer are words and policies that sound good, but have little real world effect
A foreign buyer's tax will not reduce housing prices in Vancouver or Toronto. But place a 10% interest rate on the dollar, and you better bet prices would dive like Greg Louganis in 1988.