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

Power lines cut as thieves strike Parksville veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Pieces of history: Qualicum Beach is home to massive private skateboard collection

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

Parksville Qualicum Beach youngsters offer innovative solutions for problem of discarded hypodermic needles

Team headed to B.C. Championship Lego Robotics finals in Victoria in early February

Regional District of Nanaimo not ready to commit $500K to Ballenas track project

Request for funding assistance deferred to Oceanside Services Committee

PQBeat podcast: Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell

Listen: Latest installment covers politics, athletics and more

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Most Read