Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on Canada falling even further behind in building new homes, how Edmonton and Vancouver are dealing with budget issues, and a surge in apprentices in B.C.
🏠 Wouldn’t it be great to have a day where we report positive housing news? Well, today is NOT that day. Sorry folks. The latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report says Canada is on pace to fall 3.5 million homes short of what needs to be built to restore affordability by 2030. That means Canada needs to build its usual 220,000ish new homes a year – and add another 600,000ish thousand per year on top of that. Basically we need to build a new Greater Vancouver’s worth of home stock every year in this country. Worse: the report says its projection of how many actual homes will be built has been dropped by 600,000 due to high interest rates slowing financing. “I’m not sure that the scale of the challenge has yet gotten through,” said the CMHC economist about our elected leaders. Ya think?
🌆 In city news, both Edmonton and Vancouver are grappling with tax increases and budget deficits. Edmonton city council was told yesterday that the city is on pace for a $73.8 million deficit this year, which means reserves will be needed to cover the cost – and those reserves will dip below the minimum required balance. They mainly blamed a richer-than-budgeted settlement with unionized city staff and, of course, inflation. Edmonton is promising to curb discretionary spending, but we’ll see… In Vancouver, expensive housing and costly enforcement of short term rental rules has the council pondering a 800% increase in AirBnB licence fees. They’re also talking about doubling licence fees for general contractors (from $171 to $340 per year) and nearly as much for trade contractors (from $207 to $340). Charging builders more to work in Vancouver is a pretty shortsighted and stupid housing strategy. And while bashing AirBnbs is popular, taking away AirBnB revenue from people who use it as a mortgage helper has bad consequences too.
🎓 SkilledTradesBC, which oversees the province’s apprenticeship programs, announced this week that it now has more than 41,000 apprentices registered across more than 100 trades. That’s a record – and they have record numbers of female and Indigenous apprentices. Seems like a good time to remind everyone that ICBA is the number one sponsor of trades apprentices in B.C. – doubling its closest competitor – and the number one sponsor of Indigenous trades apprentices.