National Housing Strategy should address investment housing phenomenon - observers

by |
While the National Housing Strategy’s focus on rental housing has earned praise from real estate experts, observers argued the federal government should also look into making revisions that tackle the prevalence of investment housing.
 
Such changes that would shift the conversation to “homes first, investments second” are necessary if the Strategy is to make any significant impact on home prices, UBC professor Paul Kershaw told Metro Vancouver.
 
“There’s a vacuum … around tax policy changes that need to be considered as we go forward,” Kershaw stated. “We have to start thinking about what we can do to moderate demand for housing and especially to minimize its demand as a vehicle for investment returns.”
 
University of Toronto professor David Hulchanski agreed, adding that the situation of Canadian millennials—which are already labouring under static wages and ever-growing home prices—merits further consideration.
 
“These people who are in these next generations now have difficulty accessing housing in the more expensive housing markets. So what are we going to do about that?” Hulchanski said.
 
“[The government] has to question basic parts of the housing system and I don’t think they’re willing do that.”
 
Further interventions by Ottawa would help greatly in the efforts to ensure better housing access for the Canadian consumer population, according to Penny Gurstein of the University of British Columbia.
 
“There has to be some way of the federal government inducing rental housing, and that was done before,” Gurstein said. “Now what we need are new, improved mechanisms to do that.”

Related Stories:
Government curried favour with foreigners at the expense of Vancouver locals—analyst
Foreigner buyers switch targets
  • Kris Kooblall on 2016-11-25 10:54:15 AM

    Firstly, we need to establish a consensus that there is a national housing crisis on our hands.
    Secondly, all levels of governments, federal, provincial and municipal, needs to act in a co-ordinated planning and effectively taking policy actions in concert designed to dissipate if not solve the nation’s housing crisis.
    In addition, Canadian families pay in excess of $30,000.00 per year per family in direct and indirect taxes and are entitled to be first in line to purchase homes for their families. Yet foreign investors with regard to Canadian residential real estate are provided with the very same access and who pay zero taxes to the Canadian economy.
    Here in Ontario, both the provincial and municipal government in the case of Toronto has never taken the time and effort to delve into what drives this housing crisis let alone attempting to solve this crisis.

    There is also no developed profile of these “foreign investors” with regard to the purchase of residential real estate and its effect on our economy.
    The Bank of Canada has also confirmed the controversy regarding the contribution of these foreign investors in Canadian residential real estate as outlined in a speech on November 16th by Timothy Lane, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in Waterloo, Ontario.

    /There are, of course, certain types of transactions that are periodically a source of controversy—notably, foreign investment in Canadian real estate and certain foreign acquisitions of Canadian companies./

    We simply have to got to get this right and we seem deliriously focused on extraneous factors of contribution to this national housing crisis and may not be close to an urgent resolution.

Broker news forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions