The solution to creating housing affordability is having the private sector build more

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

More than 150 people gathered at the Laurel Packing House in Kelowna, Wednesday, to hear the latest findings on real estate in the Okanagan from HM Commercial Group.

The event focused on housing affordability for all British Columbians, with Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the B.C. Liberal Party and Andrey Pavlov, from the Beedee School of Business at Simon Fraser University, as keynote speakers.

According to Pavlov, the issue surrounding affordable housing is a lack of supply, caused by government regulation.

“Most recently the speculation and vacancy tax is playing a major role in reducing supply because it makes it harder for developers to make the economics work,” explained Pavlov. “All the taxes and government intervention may help in the short term but over the long run we still have population growth and people wanting to come here (B.C.), if we don’t build more we are only going to worsen affordability going forward.”

Wilkinson agreed that the speculation and vacancy tax penalizes developers more than it assists.

“What we have said is get a real speculation tax, get rid of this phoney one, and put one (a tax) on those who flip contracts and condos, that is a real speculation tax,” argued the Liberal leader.

READ MORE: Okanagan real estate team releases report on housing affordability

Both, Pavlov and Wilkinson noted B.C. continues see an increase in population which is not something that is going to slow down anytime soon.

“About 50,000 to 60,000 people move to B.C. every year and establish themselves,” said Wilkinson. “We need to create more housing and the private sector needs to build it and our municipalities need to plan for it. In some cases that means bigger buildings and more density.”

Wilkinson said the B.C. Liberals are in favour of the private sector playing a role to help improve housing affordability.

“We cannot have the government trying to house a million people, the NDP may think that way but it’s never going to work.”

READ MORE: Governments lose revenue as housing sales drop in Okanagan

Pavlov also said he believes that the government should step back and remove restrictions on the supply of housing so private developers can step in.

“The prices of houses are high because we don’t build enough, so the solution is to build a lot,” he explained. “Even if we build luxury apartments and houses, that is fine because we are increasing supply and this will mean prices will fall or at least not increase.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

Supreme Court bans Victoria man from practising law

Jeremy Maddock received a law degree in 2016 but never completed articling

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

Most Read