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Increasing housing supply may not cool prices: SFU professor

Last Updated Jun 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm PDT

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Summary

A professor of public policy says too much supply will actually help drive prices higher

He warns people need to start thinking about a possible housing correction in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Bank of Canada believes rising prices in Vancouver’s real estate market are not sustainable, but there seems to be two schools of thought on what is fueling them. One local academic says addressing foreign ownership, and not a lack of supply, is what will really calm things down.

SFU Assistant Professor of Public Policy Josh Gordon says we keep building and so prices will keep rising and he thinks that’s enough evidence that pumping in supply will not slow the market down. He adds it may also be evidence of how high the demand is coming from outside our country.

Gordon thinks government should address foreign ownership first. “[With] Some form of tax. I also think simply cracking down on money laundering and enforcing those provisions a bit more strictly.”

He’s concerned adding too much supply will worsen any correction down the road leading to unsellable condos.

“There is this attempt to shift the blame and say it’s all about supply even when it obviously isn’t. This is really damaging and it’s upsetting to a lot of people. People in Vancouver just aren’t buying it anymore,” adds Gordon.

He also wants people to think about what may happen when a housing correction occurs. He worries Vancouver may suffer a fate similar to Las Vegas or Phoenix after the housing crash in the US.