Okanagan real estate team releases report on housing affordability

HM Commercial Group is releasing their Crystal Ball Report on Sept. 18

For the second year in a row, HM Commercial Group is releasing their Crystal Ball Report.

The real estate team hosting a release event on Sept. 18 with housing affordability for all, in B.C., as the topic.

This event will bring together key government, private industry, academia and other stakeholders for a conversation and build solutions on addressing how government policy is affecting the outcome for families, professionals, young adults and seniors.

Keynote speakers include Andrew Wilkenson, Leader BC Liberal Party and Andrey Pavlov, Beedee School of Business, Simon Fraser University.

“The lack of affordable housing choices in our communities is one of the most common complaints I hear and one of the most serious issues facing B.C. residents,” said Wilkenson. “Rather than downloading costs to municipalities, we need to be working with them to help cut the red tape that slows the growth and adds additional costs to housing growth.”

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

Marshall McAnerney, principal and co-founder of HM Commercial Group explained this year’s Crystal Ball Report focuses on healthy development strategies, housing opportunities for all and achieving it through government policies.

“Our intention is to create a thought-provoking evening and communicate that our market is healthy but that we can learn from other cities and communities around the world who have had similar supply issues and that have successfully implemented solutions,” he said.

While according to Andrey Pavlov with the Beedee School of Business, if housing is difficult to build the price of homes will go up.

” As simple and intuitive as this is, even many of our elected officials act as if they don’t understand it,” said Pavlov. “Note, for a moment, that Seattle built 17,450 rental housing units in 2018. Now compare this to Vancouver’s mere 1,364 units (four projects) in the same year. Seattle is a bigger city, I know, but it is not 13 times bigger. And, yes, just like you would expect, rents in Seattle are softening and you can actually find a reasonable place there.

The province introduced the controversial speculation and vacancy tax specifically with the goal of inducing owners of empty homes to rent or sell, either way increasing supply. So even our current leaders understand that increasing supply is key to improving affordability. It’s just that they want to do it using your home while continuing to maintain countless obstacles to actual supply increases.”

The event will be held at the Laurel Packing House from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is invite-only.

READ MORE: Spotlight on B.C.: How will the province affect the federal election?

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