January 2009 Archives

Expensive House

A very interesting report entitled the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey 2009 was released this week. It made some pretty remarkable statements about Metro Vancouver's housing market, including blaming initiatives like BC's Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) for high house prices. The report revealed that Vancouver was rated the "5th least affordable city" in the world to purchase a home.

In his preface, Dr. Shlomo Angel provides a general overview of the problem as he sees it. He talks about declining densities and how we are simply running out of land to build our cities. Less land equals higher prices. Higher prices equals less affordability.

His arguments may sound reasoned, but rather than looking at stripping the ALR, why does he not focus on why cities are not properly zoning for increased density? Why are so many gutless municipalities continuing to eat away at the precious remaining farmland we have in order build swaths of single family homes?

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