The Answer to Housing Unaffordability : Cut Immigration-Driven Demand By Cutting Immigration. Don’t Increase Supply
The uproar over astronomic house prices in Vancouver reached a new height this past week. In typical real estate sales talk, Vancouver’s Condo King, Bob Rennie, proclaimed that Vancouver’s housing unaffordability problem is a SUPPLY problem and Vancouver could solve unaffordability by simply increasing housing SUPPLY, that is, by increasing the number of condos he and his fellow profiteers want to build.
But Metro has already tried Increasing Supply and Densifying. Those techniques have not worked. Metro Vancouver prices for detached houses now average over $1 million. In several parts of Metro Vancouver, the average price is well over $2 million. In the municipality of West Vancouver and other areas, prices are much higher and flipping is rampant.
The reality is that a relentless IMMIGRATION-DEMAND for housing, particularly by wealthy immigrants from China, has caused unaffordability—a problem which Rennie and his fellow profiteers have supported and perpetuated. And the logical thing to do is not to Increase Supply, but to CUT DEMAND for housing by cutting immigration.
Exactly how has immigration caused the Demand? Over the past twenty-five years, one million people have arrived, mostly unnecessary immigrants. In another 25 years, another million people will have arrived in Metro Vancouver. Almost all of them will also be unnecessary immigrants. All of this is the result of an abnormally high and corrupt 250,000 average immigration intake, If the corruption continues, at least another million people will arrive in the twenty five years after that. And so on into the future. This is not just a Vancouver issue. Even Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says most cities across Canada are facing the same potential catastrophe.
The problem should be faced in the following way :
(1) Like any homeowner who knows his house can take only so many people, Canada has to acknowledge that its “house” too has limits. Canada’s top scientists stated this in 1976 and warned Canada that it had to restrict immigration and stabilize its population. In fact, recent polls have shown that a majority of Canadians believe their cities already have enough people.
(2) All three levels of government also have to acknowledge that relentless immigration-driven increases in population are extremely costly. By calling for a sales tax to pay $7+ Billion to accommodate another million residents by 2040, Metro Vancouver Mayors and Councils have unwittingly admitted that. United against cowardly Ottawa, they could end the madness.
(3) Governments have to end s huge conflict of interest that has perpetuated housing unaffordability. For many years, self-interested profiteers like Condo King Bob Rennie have had their way with Canada and its immigration policy. These people have wormed their way into government (a) by making large campaign contributions to politicians , (b) by promising future rewards to politicians, and (c) by running puppet candidates for elected office.
(4) Government should have cut unrealistic real estate commissions long ago. These commissions have added hugely to the costs of housing. In many parts of Metro Vancouver, real estate agents can make over $50,0000 on the sale of one detached house. That is more than a large number of Canadians make in an entire year. Obviously, many of these agents sell much more than one house in a year. And one of the real peculiarities of the Vancouver housing market is that many of the agents making millions are newly-arrived Mainland Chinese who have become real estate agents and catered to newly-arrived rich Chinese.
(5) Government has to protect its citizens, not treat them as disposables. By supporting Globalization, Western Countries have de-industrialized themselves and destroyed the lives of many of their own people. Much of the West’s industry has gone to low-wage countries like China. Subsequently, many Mainland Chinese businesses have profited from low-wage labour, non-existent environmental laws, run-away corruption and abuse of other Chinese. Grown arrogant with their profits, these business people have immigrated to countries like Canada where they have broken even Chinese law which forbids them from taking more than $50,000 out of China per year. By not doing anything, Canada and other Western countries have compounded the damage they have done to their own citizens. Instead of welcoming these people as immigrants, Canada and other countries should have spurned them.
(6) Government should have long ago recognized UBC Professor David Ley’s “Cause-Effect” research.UBC Professor David Ley has clearly demonstrated that a .94 correlation exists between immigration and Vancouver house prices, which are now the second highest in the world. Instead, almost all of our government representatives have either said nothing about his research or participated openly in fawning photo-ops with Mainland Chinese or with people from other visible minority groups.
(7) Governments have followed the advice of profiteers like Bob Rennie who have already destroyed much of Vancouver’s open space and traditional housing. Now, Rennie and his bedfellows want to replace the entire era of detached houses and backyards with an era of huge numbers of condominium towers and townhouses. At the very least, open space and backyards give both children and adults a contact with Nature, something that Condo towers can never do.
Canada has to stop the madness. Its answer to profiteers like Bob Rennie has to be this : Cut relentless immigration-driven demand for housing by cutting immigration. Do not increase supply.