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Vancouver housing market impacting other sectors

(iStock Photo)

Vancouver's latest rental vacancy rate is about 0.6 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver is attracting the attention of the worldwide tech sector, but there’s concern the housing market could kill the momentum. One entrepreneur is warning it’s extremely difficult to find the employees he needs.

We know the price of a house is in the millions now, but just finding somewhere to rent is a difficult feat. Vancouver’s latest rental vacancy rate is about 0.6 per cent.

Cody Green, the founder of Canada Drives, says they’ll hire someone and choose a start date only to find it’s a lot harder to get the new employee here than they thought.

“Then they say, ‘Hey! Wait a second. I thought it was going to be easy to find an apartment here!’ But with vacancy less than one per cent right now it’s not a sure thing that you’re going to find an apartment right away or even one close to where you work or one you want to live in.”

Green says the lack of available rentals and affordable homes makes it harder to convince workers to come here and to get locals to stay. He wonders if tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft would’ve agreed to set up here if they knew the housing market would be this tight now.

Tech sector workers are in high demand and Green says we risk losing the best people to other places.

“When they are making those considerations about what company to work for, they’re not just considering do I come work for Canada Drives in Vancouver? They’re considering do I work for ‘ABC’ company in San Francisco or Montreal or Toronto?”

Green admits he doesn’t have the answers, but he hopes something changes quickly so the burgeoning sector can continue to be an economic generator in the city.