Jen St. Denis, The Tyee, March 07, 2023 (With quotes from BCNPHA CEO Jill Atkey and CHF BC CEO Thom Armstrong)
B.C. had another difficult year for housing. Despite building thousands more apartments, rents climbed by 6.3 per cent in Vancouver, 7.7 per cent in Victoria and 8.4 per cent in Kelowna — the highest increases seen since 2018, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s annual rental market survey.
Soaring inflation and interest rates have made building new housing more risky, while potential homebuyers have struggled to get mortgages. Cities and towns are still struggling with an increase in visible homelessness that started during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, B.C.’s new NDP government rolled out an ambitious housing plan that was applauded by many experts. The NDP also introduced new taxes aimed at the highest-priced properties, homeowners who keep properties empty and foreign buyers in an attempt to curb real estate speculation.
Five years later, the province is now in the middle of its 10-year housing plan.