They had no crystal balls or tarot cards, but B.C. developers still predicted Thursday that people hoping for “the housing bubble to burst” in 2019 will be disappointed.
During the Urban Development Institute’s 2019 real-estate forecast luncheon, attended by about 1,150 people with interests in the industry in B.C., a panel of experts argued that government efforts to increase affordability through new taxes targeting property owners just won’t work.
Eric Carlson, founder and CEO of Anthem Properties, opened his forecast by reciting the memorable opening lines of the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
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Carlson said those words explain Metro Vancouver politics, culture and real-estate market well.
“On the one hand, we live in one of the finest places in the world, with great physical geography and diverse culture, tolerant, prosperous, nestled in our great Canadian utopia, (with) free speech, a functioning economy, property rights, and due process and the rule of law,” he said.
Those positive attributes, along with steady job growth and low unemployment rates, attract people from around the globe, where there are less compelling prospects for a happy life, Carlson said. He mentioned the 310,000 immigrants who came to Canada in 2018, a number expected to rise in 2019.
But with an average of 15,000 to 20,000 new households forming each year in Metro Vancouver, the market needs to deliver that many housing units, he said.