The British Columbia government’s decision to implement taxes penalizing foreign buyers and empty homes has made itself felt in recent home price adjustments, but an observer argued that it is far from an equitable distribution of relief.
Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, noted that price shrinkages have become apparent in the highest end of the market, but these declines have not manifested in the middle and lower price tiers.
“The softening of the market and cooling of the market is something that is definitely happening,” Yan said, but added that “sixteen months is a little bit premature to know whether the polices are a success or failure.”
According to the latest global analysis by Knight Frank LLP, Vancouver suffered the greatest drop in average sale prices in the luxury segment – a dramatic 11% – during the third quarter of 2018.
Read more: Vancouver luxury market is a decidedly mixed bag
Yan also emphasized that the government has yet to make good on other crucial announcements, including a 10-year, $7-billion housing affordability strategy.
“They are not actual shovels in the ground yet,” he told The Canadian Press “It will take a combination of supply and demand policies to really get us out of the housing crisis mess.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan assured that while the affordability issues won’t be resolved overnight, the government will be cooperating with all affected parties – including Indigenous communities and women’s groups – to craft a solution that benefits everyone living in the province.