• Hawkish turn at the Bank of Canada?

• Canadian economy heating up

• Falling oil prices and low inflation may keep Bank on hold until 2018



Mortgage Rate Outlook

For the past six months, the relative calm in the Canadian economy meant that mortgage rates were guided more by external factors than domestic ones. Most prominent has been the quieting of previously bullish sentiment on US growth and inflation, as neither the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan nor tax cuts promised by the Trump administration have been proposed, never mind passed, despite one-party control of Congress. Bond markets have taken notice of this inaction, dramatically revising down expectations. Consequently, bond yield spent much of the last three months sliding back toward pre-election levels. 


Pushing against this trend, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) remains steadfast in its desire to normalize interest rates as the US economy pushes up against full employment. The Fed has now raised rates three time in seven months and continues to signal further rate hikes on the horizon. More importantly, the Bank of Canada, sensing a turn in the economy following three quarters of strong economic and job growth, has seemingly turned hawkish with recent speeches by key policymakers designed to prime markets for an approaching tightening cycle. Those factors seem to be gaining significant traction as rates across the short end of the Canadian yield curve, including the benchmark 5-year Government of Canada bond yield, have increased by about 25 basis points in a matter of weeks. The 5-year yield is now close to where it was at the start of 2017, when 5-year fixed rates were about 30 basis points higher.

Assuming the Canadian economy continues its current trend, the shift in the bond market means that the recent downtrend in 5-year fixed mortgage rates offered by banks and other lenders will likely reverse by the end of the summer. Overall, we expect that the posted rate will remain unchanged in 2017, while discount rates will gradually rise to just under 3 per cent by the end of the year.

Economic Outlook
The Canadian economy has finally returned to good health following the rapid and dramatic decline of oil prices in late 2014 and the consequences of wildfires in Alberta last year. Since the third quarter of 2016, the Canadian economy has expanded at an average rate of 3.5 per cent, well above the Bank of Canada’s estimate of 1.7 per cent sustainable longrun growth. After posting nearly 4 per cent growth in the first quarter of this year, we expect that real GDP growth will slow slightly to around 2.4 per cent in the second quarter with the economy ultimately growing 2.5 per cent this year and 2 per cent in 2018. If the economy continues to accelerate, and growth in real GDP is higher than currently expected by the Bank, slack in the economy could be eliminated by as early as the end of this year, which could push up the timetable for monetary tightening.

Interest Rate Outlook
While the economy is currently very strong, Canada has had several false alarms when it comes to an imminent increase in interest rates. The case for Bank of Canada tightening this time around, however, may be stronger than in the past. Firstly, a rate increase of 25 basis points would mainly undo the rate cut made in 2015 to deal with the dramatic decline in oil prices. With the macroeconomic consequences of that oil  shock dissipated, there is no longer a need to keep interest rates at their current level. Secondly, rapid growth in the Canadian economy means that slack in labour and products markets is being eliminated faster than expected, which should begin to put upward pressure on inflation, with a return to the Bank’s 2 per cent inflation target sooner than currently projected. So far, higher inflation has failed to materialize. The most recent reading on both total CPI inflation and the Bank of Canada’s preferred trend measure of inflation registered just 1.3 per cent.  Muddling the case for monetary tightening is the recent slide in oil prices. A glut of oil supply in global markets has once again pushed oil to the mid-$40 level with some expecting prices to test sub-$40 per barrel. If that occurs, it could take some wind out of the sails of the economy while also pushing inflation lower. Indeed, the oil futures curve has dipped below the assumption used by the Bank in their most recent forecast.  While the likelihood of the Bank raising its target rate by the end of 2017 has certainly increased, we still expect the Bank to hold off until early 2018, particularly if oil prices remain low and inflation fails to pick up.



Mortgage Rate Forecast is published quarterly by the British Columbia Real Estate Association. Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.” BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. 2



Some Vancouver condo owners faced with having to pay the country’s first-ever municipal vacancy tax are planning to lie and see if they get caught.

Others are using creative methods to avoid it, like putting their units in the name of one family member and renting to another.


And some are buckling to the new rules by renting out their multimillion-dollar suites.


But few are selling to avoid the tax.


That’s what realtors, property managers, and other observers of the Vancouver real-estate scene say is happening as the July 1 deadline approaches for owners of second homes to either rent out their units, occupy them, or sell them in order to avoid a tax that could go into the tens of thousands of dollars a year.


“I think the owners are more interested in renting than in giving it up,” said Holly Wood, who is licensed as both a realtor, working with Sotheby’s International, and a property manager. “I’ve had an increase among my clients interested in renting.”


She has one apartment now on the market for $8,400 a month on Cordova Street in Coal Harbour, an area of Vancouver that’s consistently been identified as a neighbourhood with the highest number of unoccupied and second-home apartments in the city.


Ms. Wood expects the unit, which the owner previously used only part-time, will go fast.

She had another unit in a downtown hotel-and-condo tower that rented at $3,000 a month after only two days of advertising on Craigslist.


A unit in the Bayshore development, owned by a corporate entity asking $11,000 a month, went almost as fast. Some of the typical renters: a film producer needing a place for four months, consular staff assigned to the city and corporate executives.


“The market is there for people who want to move here but aren’t sure about buying,” she said.


Other realtors who specialize in Coal Harbour, as Ms. Wood does, and downtown properties also said they don’t see a stampede towards selling.


Ian Watt said he’s had no clients giving up their condos to avoid the tax. However, he did hear from one couple with a unit assessed at $4.6-million, which would mean a tax of $46,000 a year at the city’s one-per-cent rate, who said, “’We’re just not going to do it. Let them catch us.’” Others say they’ve heard that story occasionally.


Andrew Way, of, also said he’s seen little sign of mass sales from current owners, although it is affecting prospective ones.


“I think it’s making people hold off buying,” said Mr. Way. But for those who own, the gains they are making as real-estate prices continue to climb in Vancouver more than compensate for the tax, he said.


And Michael Geller, an architect and development consultant who has publicly campaigned against the broad reach of the city’s vacancy tax, said people are using “creative ways” to avoid it. Among them, having one family member own it and rent to another.


Some of those people had been hoping for a change of heart from Vancouver planners.


Rainer Borkenhagen, a semi-retired doctor, and others with second homes in the city had formed a coalition,, that has been lobbying the city to limit the tax to truly unoccupied homes.


“Our apartments are occupied. They’re not empty,” said Mr. Borkenhagen. He said , many second homes are heavily used as people come into town to visit children and grandchildren, go to medical appointments, or enjoy a city they plan to retire to eventually. “There are seniors who rely on these places and would find it disruptive to go to hotels instead.”


But city planners don’t show any sign of amending the vacancy-tax rules for that group.


A report Friday from chief planner Gil Kelley recommends making some exceptions for properties that are going through the development process.


But his report says that, although 30 per cent of the 5,000 calls received by the city about the tax were from owners of second homes who say they shouldn’t be included, no exemption will be considered.


“The overarching goal of the (tax) is to substantially increase the number of homes being made available for rent. Creating an exemption could significantly impact the city’s ability to achieve this goal.”


The report also rejects the idea of having a cap on the tax, which would benefit owners of the most expensive homes.


The 2016 census, in a February release, identified 25,495 homes in the city as unoccupied or occupied by temporary or foreign residents. The city’s recent report broke that down further, saying only 14 per cent of those units were occupied temporarily.


Vancouver’s rate of unoccupied units has increased from 5.2 per cent of all homes in 2001 to 8.2 per cent in 2016. In absolute numbers, that meant a doubling of vacant units.


Toronto’s number of homes defined as unoccupied tripled, to 99,000, in the same period.


Cities like Halifax, Saskatoon, and Edmonton have higher proportions of unoccupied homes, although much fewer in terms of total numbers than Toronto or Vancouver.


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Speech from the Throne



The BC Liberal Party is introducing a new rent-to-own housing scheme, aimed at gradually moving 50,000 households out of renting and into homeownership, the Lieutenant Government announced at the Throne Speech from the legislature in Victoria June 22.


The Liberal Party was seen to have lost key seats in Vancouver after being accused by the opposition NDP of not doing enough on affordable home ownership or rental. This new move seems to be the latest of the party’s eleventh-hour policies, as it tries to cling to its current, tenuous minority government and win the confidence of the House.


The new rent-to-own program would see 50,000 new homes built over the next 10 years. The homes would be rented to residents in the first instance, but part of their rents would be siphoned off by the government into an account to build up a down payment.


The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Government, said in her speech, “Housing affordability remains a particular concern … and we must ensure middle-class families are not pushed out of urban markets… With the confidence of this House, your government will work with local governments and the private sector to increase the supply of family and starter housing for middle-income earners especially along new transit lines and corridors.


“Your government will work with the private sector to build 50,000 units of new housing across the province over 10 years, which will go into a new rent-to-own home program available to middle-class families. The program will help middle-class renters grow equity through their monthly rent payments until they are in a position to own the home.


“With the confidence of this house … your government will work with municipalities to remove obstacles and eliminate backlogs to speed up the construction of new housing supply, especially for families.”


Guichon added that the Liberals also planned to close rental loopholes on fixed-term leases and renovictions — both areas in which the NDP scored points in the election by promising reforms. She also said that an affordable housing summit would be convened in the fall, and address the issue of real estate speculation in particular.


The Liberals seemed to be looking to gain support in the throne speech by introducing popular new policies, perhaps in a last-ditch hope that their leader would continue to enjoy the confidence of the House and remain in power.


The BC Liberals also lost a voting MLA, Kelowna-Mission MLA and former forestry minister Steve Thomson, on June 22 when he was named the new Speaker of the House – the only MLA to step forward for the position. If the Liberals’ confidence vote fails, the power-sharing agreement between the NDP and the Green Party could see those two parties form a joint provincial government as early as next week.


Joannah Connolly Joannah Connolly is the editor and content manager of and Real Estate Weekly newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Western Investor and West Coast Condominium. She also moonlights as the host of the Real Estate Therapist call-in show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of media experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture and business media.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2017 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 10 per cent to 101,000 units this year, after reaching a record 112,209 units in 2016. Housing demand gained strength this spring, as some of the effects of federal and provincial policy efforts to tamp it down dissipate. In addition, strong market fundamentals continue to underpin an elevated level of home sales. The ten-year average for MLS residential sales in the province is 84,700 units.

“The province is in its fourth year of above-trend economic growth,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Strong employment growth, consumer confidence and an influx of inter-provincial migrants are important drivers of the housing market this year.” In addition, with the millennial generation now entering their household forming years, the condominium market in major urban centres is experiencing pressure on supply.

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to decline 1.1 per cent to $683,500 this year, and increase 5.2 per cent to $719,100 in 2018. The decline in the provincial average price is largely due to rising demand for more affordable condominiums and a larger proportion of home sales occurring outside the Metro Vancouver region. The supply of homes for sale is at a 20-year low in the province, with sellers’ market conditions prevelant across most BC regions and home types.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is the professional association for about 22,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients. 


The British Columbia Real Estate Association says a lack of homes on the market means buyers are paying more for housing across the province.


The association has released figures for May showing 12,402 homes were sold in B.C. last month, down 7.9 per cent when compared with May last year.


Total listings also fell 11.1 per cent to 28,404 over the same period.


But the association says sales remained very active in May, surpassing the number of new listings by 20 per cent in nine of B.C.'s 11 real estate boards and topping 50 per cent in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria.

Prices also jumped 4.2 per cent between May 2016 and last month, with the average B.C. home selling for $752,536.


Association chief economist Cameron Muir says despite strong consumer demand, the supply of homes for sale across the province has plunged 50 per cent over the last five years.


"The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term," he says.


Provided By The: Canadian Press


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 12,402 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, down 7.9 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $9.33 billion, down 4.0 per cent from May 2017. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $752,536, a 4.2 per cent increase from the same period last year.

“Market conditions have tightened considerably this spring as an upturn in consumer demand has not been accompanied by a rise in homes listed for sale,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The supply of homes for sale in the province has fallen 50 per cent over the past five years.”

“The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term,” added Muir. Total active listings in the province were down 11.1 per cent to 28,404 units from May 2016. The ratio of home sales to active listings was well over 20 per cent in nine of the province’s 11 real estate boards, and over 50 per cent in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 25.2 per cent to $30.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 20.1 per cent to 43,158 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 5.7 per cent to $709,541.






BCREA is the professional association for over 22,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help Realtors provide value for their clients.


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Stunning, is the best way to describe this home located in UniverCity; Vancouver's premier lifestyle & family friendly neighborhood. Enjoy South/East exposure & Mountain views from every room. This 2bed/2bath/869sqft home offers an efficient open floor plan, 9' ceilings, an abundance of light, quality flooring, GE Cafe apps, quartz counters, a large kitchen w/island, covered balcony & much more. Spacious master has walkin closet, 4pc ensuite w/dble sinks. Gaze at Mnt Baker from a well-sized 2nd bd. Altitude is Vancouver's highest tower, 1yr yng & rental & pet friendly. Bonus: 1 locker & parking. Walk to: transit, campus, childcare, shopping, indoor/outdoor rec. & a host of resident-only perks. Act Now! OPEN HOUSE Sat Jun 17 from 2 to 4.


Commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland declined in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 compared to last year while the total dollar value of sales increased across most property types.

There were 561 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, a 19.7 per cent decrease over the 699 sales in Q1 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $3.884 billion in Q1 2017, an 18.2 per cent increase from the $3.287 billion in Q1 2016.

“Commercial real estate activity is below last year’s record-breaking pace and more in line with historical levels in the Lower Mainland,” said Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver REBGV president. “The value of what’s being sold, particularly for office and retail properties, is on the rise.”

Q1 2017 activity by category
Land: There were 220 commercial land sales in Q1 2017, which is a 25.7 per cent decrease from the 296 land sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of land sales was $1.674 billion in Q1 2017, an 11.6 per cent decrease over $1.895 billion in Q1 2016.

Office and Retail: There were 203 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 2.4 per cent from the 208 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $1.614 billion in Q1 2017, an 80.1 per cent increase over $0.896 billion in Q1 2016.

Industrial: There were 111 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 28.8 per cent over the 156 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.219 billion in Q1 2017, a 13.6 per cent decrease over $0.253 billion in Q1 2016.

Multi-Family: There were 27 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2017, which is down 30.8 per cent over the 39 sales in Q1 2016. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $0.375 billion in Q1 2017, a 55 per cent increase from $0.242 billion in Q1 2016.


Category Definitions:
Land: includes properties that are holding properties, farmland, garden centres, redevelopment sites, land assembly sites, vineyards, etc.

Office and Retail properties: are defined by the zoning according to each municipality and must have a building on the site. This category includes: Office, office condo, retail, retail condo, shopping centre, gas station, car dealerships, banks, community centres, day care, educational facility, institutional, golf courses, movie theatre, hotel, churches, restaurants, truck stops and others.

Industrial properties: are also defined by the zoning according to each municipality and must have a building on the site. This includes warehouses, warehouse bays and multi-bay warehouses.

Multi-Family properties include: nursing homes, high rises, low rises, and any condo or townhome properties containing four or more units with at least one zoned for commercial use. 

Owned and operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Commercial EDGE system includes all commercial real estate transactions in the Lower Mainland region of BC that have been registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. Commercial EDGE is updated monthly based on data originating from the BC Assessment Authority. Commercial EDGE does not include share sale transactions as they are not registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. Please note that historical data may be subject to revision as transaction records are received from the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia.


Greater Vancouver reached a record benchmark price of $967,500 - an 8.8-per-cent increase from the year before. The average price of a detached house reached a record $1.831-million in May.

Over all, median property prices in the region went up in the months after the introduction of the 15-per-cent foreign-buyers tax.


One downtown realtor says the seemingly endless demand for over-priced housing is “bonkers.”

“People are throwing crazy money at anything,” says Ian Watt. “It’s scary.”

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union issued a report this past week mapping changes in housing affordability across the city’s municipalities. Over all, if the average Metro Vancouverite were to purchase a detached house, they’d need to fork over 67 per cent of their income to do so.

Vancouver city proper was one of the biggest losers, with a detached home requiring 182 per cent of the median household income.

Housing experts say the situation is irreversible, considering the massive decoupling of local incomes from housing. The median household income as of February was $79,498. The median price of a detached home in Vancouver in 2016 was $2.7-million. It would take a momentous event to come close to closing that gap.

“Without a calamitous collapse of the market, those days [of detached-house ownership] are over,” says David Ley, a professor of geography at the University of British Columbia whose work focuses on global wealth migration. “There have been successive spirals, and we have been going through the most dramatic one that lasted for about 18 months, then there was a cooling off, and now it’s on its way up again.”

Dr. Ley cautions that there may be some pressure on prices due to low inventory, with detached house sales down 17 per cent.

But consumers are still willing to pay unprecedented prices, and over-leverage themselves to do so. When all housing types are factored in, the Vancouver resident can expect to put 48.6 per cent of their income toward housing, according to the Vancity report, which used data provided by Landcor Data Corp. Mr. Watt wonders how residents are surviving.

“If 48 per cent is going to pay your mortgage, strata fees and taxes, then how much of your income is going towards your personal taxes? What do you have left over? People must be getting help from their parents, or they are just not declaring their income.”

They might also be living on credit. Vancouverites have increased their consumer debt in a 12-month period by 4 per cent – more than any other city in Canada, according to a recent TransUnion report. Mr. Watt says he’d prefer to see a more stable and normalized market. He doesn’t see this one as sustainable.

“Look at West Vancouver and all the Ferraris and Lamborghinis driving around, and how leveraged people are.”

Vancouver is not the least affordable municipality on the Vancity list. West Vancouverites require 191.8 per cent of income in order to own the median $2,821,500 home there. More surprisingly, North Vancouver district also beat out Vancouver, requiring 92.5 per cent of the region’s typical monthly income to cover the mortgage, taxes and maintenance costs of a home. Lions Bay, Oak Bay, Delta, Bowen Island, North Saanich, Squamish and the township of Langley also rank among the least affordable municipalities in the region, based on median price and income.

The former rapporteur on adequate housing for the United Nations Human Rights Council, Miloon Kothari, had sharp words for Vancouver’s affordability crisis when he toured the city this past week.

“It’s amazing to me the situation has been allowed to get where it is,” Mr. Kothari said, following a talk at Simon Fraser University downtown.

Mr. Kothari spent several days in Vancouver, and he says he’s shocked at how drastically the situation has deteriorated since he visited even a decade ago. Mr. Kothari, an architect and scholar who taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been studying Vancouver since the 1980s. He’s seeing a growing gap reflected physically, as social housing is treated as an inferior housing type, with residents segregated from those in market housing. In many European cities, he says, that division doesn’t exist. Why does it exist in Canada, a country that housing experts used to hold up as an exemplary model?

“You either have high-end expensive housing or some social housing, but not nearly enough, and the shelters, even those are not sufficient … there is no notion of security of tenure for people who can’t afford a home here. So there are huge gaps, and I’m actually amazed.

“I don’t see why more steps couldn’t have been taken already to cool down the market, and not just a question of cooling the market, but also to create more housing to build more social housing, to have more mixed use.

“Essentially, it’s a huge profit-making operation benefiting people in power as well as those that have significant influence.”

The Vancity report cites a series of government interventions made last year, including the increased property-transfer tax from 2 per cent to 3 per cent on homes valued at more than $2-million. The government also clamped down on corrupt industry practices such as shadow flipping. And in August, the province introduced the 15-per-cent property-transfer tax on foreign buyers. According to the report, within a month, foreign buying in the region “virtually disappeared.”

The numbers of purchases by foreign nationals significantly dropped in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby, according to provincial data attached to the report.

However, in that same period, foreign nationals made headway in markets that didn’t have the tax. In Victoria, purchases by foreign nationals went from 16.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent after the tax.

So, foreign buying activity did not disappear. It appears that it just found a way around the new tax. Foreign money undoubtedly also drove some of the presale condo market, which is not tracked because presales don’t count as real estate until the transactions become land titles.

Mr. Watt wants to see a heftier foreign-buyers tax implemented so the resulting tax revenue can be redirected into affordable housing and infrastructure for locals.

“Fifteen per cent is peanuts for people shipping $10-million out [of their country]. They didn’t buy in Vancouver for any other reason than to put money somewhere safe. The fact is that [foreign buyers] have a lot of money. They want to come here. They will pay whatever,” says Mr. Watt. “We need a 30 per cent [foreign-buyers] tax to build a SkyTrain that goes all the way to Chilliwack, and we’ll make infrastructure for affordable housing. And make it possible for people to own homes and commute.”

Some say that change may very well be on its way. The problem is simply too overwhelming to ignore.

“There is a clear call for action and leadership for all three levels of government,” says urban planner and adjunct professor, Andy Yan. “Potentially, there’s a beacon of light emerging from the murkiness of our real estate market.”

Dr. Ley said that although federal funding for housing is exceedingly modest, it represents a policy improvement compared with the past 25 years, when federal funding for housing programs fell away.

“The hole here is so deep – we’ve had 25 years of neglect of affordable housing issues, and a lot of rhetoric that has got us going in the wrong direction,” Dr. Ley said.

“The important point is that there has never been an appetite since, until it seems with this new federal administration. We could have all three levels of government lined up to result in a significant affordable-housing push.”

Josh Gordon, an assistant professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University believes the new provincial government could have an impact.

“That impact will likely have to wait until the new governing arrangement is fully put in place, and once they have spelled out a few of their policy intentions, but it will come,” Dr. Gordon said.

He says it will require new moves, such as a proposed surtax on properties owned by people with no B.C. income, an idea put forward by SFU professor Rhys Kesselman last year. The idea is, the higher the value of the property, the higher the surtax. It would also involve walking back on the Liberal’s widely criticized Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership (HOME) program, offering five-year interest-free and payment-free loans to first time homebuyers. Critics said the program motivated locals to buy into an over-heated market.

“If the NDP-Greens proceed with a variant of the surtax idea, as they should, then that will have a significant impact on the market,” Dr. Gordon said. “That policy on its own will do a great deal to generate better affordability. Getting serious about money laundering and cancelling the awful HOME program will also have an effect. If they do those things together, we won't just see a temporary dip.”

Mr. Kothari believes an overall attitude adjustment is in order.

“People have just lost sense of the basic values – that’s why we keep making this point that you have to view housing as a human right. Even in my country, India, there is this sense of outrage that people are out on the streets, and they mobilize, they offer solutions. Here, there is this kind of, ‘oh well, somebody else will take care of it.’

“If we are too polite, we won’t raise the issues.”


Provided By: Kerry Gold from The Globe & Mail

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