CCEC GM Ross Gentleman spoke to BNN today regarding the Vancouver housing market. The six minute interview considered economic issues, lending risk, and public policy responses. Ross said, "The rapid rise in values over this past year cannot be sustained." Even the OECD has publicly called for government action this past week. The local real estate board reports prices are up 22-37% annually in the region.
Ross expressed concern that rising real estate prices are pressuring middle and lower income households. All credit unions are committed to ensuring these households' shelter needs are met. He noted that CCEC does not finance speculation, with a primary focus is upon home ownership for middle income credit union members, secure shelter options generally, AND non-market community owned housing stock.
Ross also noted that CCEC supports co-op housing and CCEC sees a need for more collaboration between that sector and government to ensure that more non-market housing units are built. The community land trust model in Vancouver is a good example.
Lastly, he projected a need for government intervention as affordability becomes a more serious concern for ordinary people. In particular, he itemized the need for the reconsideration of (a) the property transfer tax system, (b) the municipal property tax system, and (c) the privileged tax exempt status of capital gains on primary residences.