WATCH: A new study shows just how tough it is to own a home in the capital region. The numbers show Victoria as having one of the lowest rates of home ownership in the country. Many are saying affordability is the heart of the issue. Kori Sidaway reports.
It may not be a surprise to some, but nearly two-thirds of people living in the Victoria area, are renting.
“It’s an expensive place to be, and it always has been, this is nothing new,” said real estate Tony Joe.
Since 1971, the rate of home ownership in Canada has steadily risen. However, 2016 marked the first decreased in almost half a century.
And here in Victoria? We’re sitting with the second lowest home-ownership rate in all of Canada.
Experts say the national dip in home ownership is directly related to the economic depression. People’s wages were lowered and therefore their buying power did as well but housing prices continued to climb.
“There’s no escape right now from the lack of affordability in our housing market,” said Together Against Poverty’s executive director Doug King.
“Home ownership is not going to get you out of the problem, and lack of home ownership means you’re going to have to pay high rent.”
Joe has been a real estate agent in the Victoria area for almost 30 years. He says Victoria has always been an expensive and desired market.
“It’s amazing to know that there’s a need that exists and that there are contractors and developers out there that would like to fill that need, but they can’t because of timelines and costs,” said Joe.
But advocates say that more construction isn’t the answer.
“I think the last 10 years have shown that we can’t build our way out of this problem,” said King.
“By building more and more rental housing we’re not addressing affordability. It hasn’t had an impact. We’ve been telling the government it’s time to stop focusing on development and start focusing on regulation.”
Together Against Poverty is calling for the government to intervene with rental and land controls to help balance out the current housing market.