Housing market an election issue

Housing crisis may spell the end for the Liberals in the next election.

Soaring housing prices that show no sign of slowing is the topic among British Columbians, and yet Premier Christy Clark has barely acknowledged it.

While the B.C. government took in more than a billion dollars in property transfer taxes last year — it is the housing crisis that may spell the end for the Liberals in the next election.

Skyrocketing prices have officially dashed many young people’s dreams of owning a single family home in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley. Gone for many are dreams of raising a family in a detached home, with a backyard, three bedrooms and an attached garage.

This has long been the reality for most Europeans, however it has not been that way here until now.

B.C.’s housing crisis began more than a year ago, yet it is only now that the provincial government has decided to actually look into it, tracking how much of the crisis is due to foreign ownership. Prior to this spring, people purchasing homes in B.C. didn’t have to indicate whether they are Canadian citizens.

A lot isn’t known and there are many variables. But what is known is the housing crisis could potentially devastate young families who have taken on $700,000 mortgages.

Should interest rates jump even a few per cent, those home owners could be in a lot of trouble.

From everything we can see, it doesn’t appear Canada will face the same fate as our American cousins, but the Bank of Canada cautioned that a sharp correction could trigger a mass recession.

The trickle-down effect from this housing crisis is hurting the most vulnerable, pushing out renters, while homeowners cash in.

A whopping 80 per cent of us feel the provincial government is not doing enough to reign in the out-of-control housing market, according to a recent poll.

Another poll showed that people are currently more concerned with the housing crisis than health care and the rest of the economy.

Voters may be getting as red hot as the housing market.

If the NDP were to put forward a real contender, Clark would have to rethink her head-in-the-sand strategy.

–Langley Times


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