There’s good and there’s what sounds good. In an election period, what is good for an economy or its citizens is not nearly as important as what sounds good. A case in point is how housing – availability and affordability – has become an issue.
We have seen parties pledge all manner of things. There is a promise to ban foreign ownership of seasonal property. Then there’s the ultra-rich taxation gig. They sound good to those who are struggling to get into their first home – blame it on the rich – but it won’t help improve the situation. In fact, some of these ideas are just plain wrong. Just ask a Snowbird how they feel about owning a seasonal property in another country.
But the real issue is supply which will bring down prices. And isn’t likely to improve anytime soon. The latest national building permit numbers show values dropping in every province except BC and Newfoundland. We were down 24%. Clearly builders are having trouble pencilling new starts, a situation that will only be made worse by politicians with more rules.