The head of Canada’s housing agency says too much of the blame for the housing crisis in the Vancouver region is being levelled at foreign buyers.
President and CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Evan Siddall says there’s an element of an “us and them” attitude in the housing debate.
“This contrast between us and them I think is a factor and I think we notice things that are different better than we notice things that are similar,” he said.
“It’s a more captivating story that somebody who has the same complexion as me bought a house for $30-million. Why is that not as newsworthy?”
Siddal says he’s not ignoring foreign ownership as one factor but says more action needs to be taken to improve supply.
“The way we create higher density homes is we incent developers to build high-density homes, and they get to make profit – that’s how our economy works,” he said.
“If that’s an obstacle for people it’s probably something worth reflecting on.”
A report by CMHC released today says foreign ownership of condos in the country’s biggest cities has dropped versus last year.
Foreign ownership was the highest in Toronto at 2.3% and Vancouver at 2.2% – down from 3.3% and 3.5% in those cities in 2015.
The housing agency says those higher numbers were due to high foreign interest in newly built condos.