Open the door to more affordable housing in Calgary

Calgary’s new city council must encourage secondary suites, remove parking requirements and streamline the housing permit process

Open the door to more affordable housing in CalgaryBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi won a third term last month, giving him four more years to address the city’s most pressing issues, including housing. Many Calgarians – like many Vancouverites, Torontonians and other Canadians – worry about housing affordability as the city continues to grow. Among…

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the means

Incentive packages often include tax breaks on property, income or permit exemptions – and taxpayers pay the freight

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the meansBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur Fraser Institute Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to open a second North American headquarters has sparked a mad scramble by communities seeking a huge economic payoff. But some notes of caution need to be sounded. The new Amazon headquarters are expected to house up to 50,000 “high-paying jobs” and add…

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term pain

As much as rent control could benefit some existing renters, in the long run it reduces the incentive to build new rental housing

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term painBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The Ontario government introduced a raft of measures this summer aimed at reining in the price of buying or renting a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The goal is laudable and the approach may create some temporary reprieve – but the long-term consequences could be…

Don’t just blame speculators for soaring housing prices

Falling interest rates are an often-overlooked contributor to rising home prices in Canada’s most desirable markets

Don’t just blame speculators for soaring housing pricesBy Niels Veldhuis and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Despite recent measures by British Columbia and Ontario provincial governments, house prices remain high in Canada’s most desirable markets. In fact, after a brief pause during the latter half of 2016, Vancouver home prices are again on an upward trend. Attempts to explain high and rising prices…

Ontario government’s focus on foreign buyers misses the point

Focus instead on reducing the time it takes to obtain a building permit and the per-unit costs to comply with regulations, which amounts to almost $50,000

Ontario government’s focus on foreign buyers misses the pointBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Rather than targeting a small group of foreign home buyers to stop pricing escalation, the Ontario government should focus on ensuring that regulations don’t prevent the supply of new housing from meeting demand. According to a recent announcement from Ontario government, 4.7 per cent of properties…

How an NDP-Green government can free up B.C.’s housing supply

If housing affordability for average British Columbians is the goal, local and provincial governments should reduce barriers to development

How an NDP-Green government can free up B.C.’s housing supplyBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute In the wake of last month’s election in British Columbia, the NDP and Green Party appear poised to form the next government in Victoria. And yet, in their 10-page agreement, they make only brief mention of one of this province’s hottest issues: housing affordability. The agreement…

Lower Mainland municipalities create roadblocks to new housing

Homebuilders were asked how long they wait for permit approvals, how much it costs, how often rezoning is required and the scope of local opposition

Lower Mainland municipalities create roadblocks to new housingBy Kenneth P. Green and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute There’s no silver bullet for Vancouver’s perennial housing woes. But trimming the red tape would help. Housing markets are incredibly complex, reflecting the ongoing interaction between demand and supply. So far, the provincial government, and Vancouver city hall, have targeted pockets of this interaction, including foreign…

Vancouver can’t have both low-density and affordable housing

To take pressure off the cost of living in Vancouver, the city should build more housing units on its limited geographic footprint

Vancouver can’t have both low-density and affordable housingBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Housing prices in Vancouver have caused a frenzy, as analysts, pundits and activists wrestle with how to improve affordability. The discussion has fixated on foreign buyers, speculators and empty houses. Regardless of the policies implemented to address these factors, trying to increase affordability by sniffing out…

Taxing foreigners no answer to Toronto’s housing woes

The idea might have some intuitive appeal but misses the bigger point – Toronto needs more housing

Taxing foreigners no answer to Toronto’s housing woesBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The idea of a tax on foreign homebuyers has reared its head in Ontario once again. After British Columbia last year announced it would tax foreign buyers an extra 15 per cent on residential real estate in Metro Vancouver, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said he…

Let’s make room for skilled workers in Metro Vancouver

If housing costs remain high, and rental vacancy rates stay razor-thin, the region may soon be out of reach to locals and newcomers alike

Let’s make room for skilled workers in Metro VancouverBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Many tech companies and employees are scrambling to adjust to the recent executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump restricting entry from seven countries, and rumours of an impending crackdown on visas for foreign workers. Giants like Google, Facebook and Apple have denounced the move,…