By this point, most of us would like to think that nothing about they city’s crazy housing market could surprise us anymore.
But did you hear about the $6 million luxury mansion with seven bedrooms and an indoor pool… that’s a teardown?
If you’re laughing… it’s not a joke.
At least not according to Vancouver city Councillor Adriane Carr.
“Its an unbelievable waste of resources. This is a beautiful home that everyone I know would love to live in. And it certainly flies in the face of our greenest city objectives.”
Carr says this case is emblematic of a wider problem, with the city losing one to two houses every day.
“Many of them character homes. The delightful charm of Vancouver.”
And she says her phone has been ringing off the hook from residents worried about losing the character of their neighbourhood – along, often, with their neighbours.
“In many cases it’s multiple homes per block that are being torn down. They’re telling me that the new homes that are going up are monster homes. And they tell me in many cases that they sit empty.”
Carr says she believes the problem is that the city’s real estate market is seen as a safe international investment with few conditions.
But she says it doesn’t have to be like that – in the past, the city has used zoning policy to stop the destruction of homes deemed worth keeping.
“If people are flipping homes they should be taxed to the hilt on that and the money should be used to go into an affordable housing fund so we can build that in the city.”