Condos sell but lights stay off (from Globe and Mail)

Partial quote:

“The speculators are creating empty-feeling, overpriced neighbourhoods, the opposite of settling down and getting to know the neighbours”.

“There are the people in the expensive houses. And then there are the people making the coffee, cleaning the houses, caring for children and the elderly, and working at 7-Eleven. Where do they live?

We’re a city filled with people relying on real estate appreciation. That couldn’t be good. The median household income based on census figures and adjusted for the rate of inflation is $53,736 in Vancouver proper. We are not a wealthy city. But our two-storey houses cost more than double the national average price of $407,044. Ms. Garossino made the point at the panel discussion.

“While there is a great deal of sober and moderate opinion saying we have always had this problem, actually it’s quite a bit worse than it was before,” she says. “Now I think it’s a real drag on the rest of our economy. We are marginalizing huge sectors of our population who should be living in relative security.”

Her biggest concern is the idea that towers – comprised mostly of studios and one-bedroom apartments, and sold as presales – ease affordability.

“I think we are creating a form of housing that is perfectly suited to speculation. It couldn’t be more suited to speculation.”



One response to “Condos sell but lights stay off (from Globe and Mail)

  1. Reblogged this on CityHallWatch: Tools for engagement in Vancouver city decisions, creating our future. and commented:
    Note that the two mayoral candidates in 2011 for the NPA/Vision Vancouver axis, funded largely by developer donations, both stated their parties would NOT look into foreign ownership/speculation in Vancouver. They claim to fight for “affordable” housing, but intentionally ignore a major factor driving land prices. Can society accept their evasion of facts? Can mainstream media continue to accept the politicians’ spin while average citizens and the most vulnerable continue to pay the price? If you are concerned, you may with to write or call your elected officials and urge them to take the first step to get the data and consider intelligent measures. Contact info on CityHallWatch is here One idea is to create a new column on property tax statements, for non-resident owners, with a surcharge tax rate. Use economic measures to balance financial power. The average Vancouverite cannot compete with the richest in the world who have the financial capacity to buy a home in any country they choose — and then leave it empty. The majority government in City Council is actively facilitating a growing disparity between rich and poor. Not acceptable.

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