News

News

Seriously! Not an April Fool’s joke
Coming soon: 11,784 new rental suites

Goodman Report
April 1, 2017

For the last 10 years, we at the Goodman Report have railed against the rental housing policies of Metro Vancouver – and in particular the City of Vancouver – relating to the glaringly insufficient new rental stock under construction. The track record of local politicians in creating an environment conducive to purpose-built rental construction had been dismal at best, a travesty at worst.

Read article

Separation of church and real estate

Frank O’Brien with Christopher Cheung and Pat Johnson, Business in Vancouver
March 21st, 2017

Top land prices have persuaded multiple Metro Vancouver churches to sell out or leverage development with joint venture partners.

A small church in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood is attracting a lot of visitors this April, but most will be drawn by something other than the Holy Spirit.

Read article

Protecting Rental Stock or Holding Back Rental Construction?

Jon Meyer, News Talk 980 CKNW
February 27th, 2017

Bulldozing old three and four storey apartment buildings in established neighbourhoods could cure what ails Vancouver’s dismal rental vacancy rate.

But the city imposed a temporary moratorium on the demolition of old apartment buildings in 2007, but it’s still in place today.

Read article

Metro Vancouver mayors say homelessness has reached crisis in B.C.

Chuck Chiang, Vancouver Sun
February 27, 2017

Metro Vancouver mayors say homelessness in the region has reached crisis proportions, and the situation may be even more dire in the suburbs and rural areas than in Vancouver.

The latest numbers show that the unsheltered homeless population in Metro Vancouver jumped 26 per cent every year since 2011, and about five people become homeless every week. Today, roughly 4,000 people in the region are in immediate need of housing, the report said. The sobering numbers were released Monday at a press conference announcing the recommendations of Metro Vancouver’s homeless task force to tackle the problem.

Read article

Should Old Rental Buildings Be Saved — or Sacrificed?

Christopher Cheung, The Tyee
February 14th, 2017

“I feel like I really lucked out,” said Mitch William. His rent is a bargain.

William pays $855 a month for a 750-square foot one-bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver where the average rent is $1,223, according to a fall 2016 report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

His location is also convenient. His rental building is less than a block away from the Metrotown shopping centre and SkyTrain station. William, 25, takes the train to work downtown at an insurance company. The ride only takes 16 minutes.

William’s apartment is coveted for another reason: there aren’t nearly enough rentals in Vancouver to go around at any price.

Read article

Train But No Gain? High-Density Transit-oriented Site Wasted

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

For the record, the Goodman Report is very supportive of responsible efforts by various levels of government to provide assisted or social housing for those in need. It’s clear to us, however, that the program put forward recently by the City of Vancouver for providing temporary modular housing is a reactive, poorly conceived solution to a deeply rooted problem.

Here’s what’s happening. To address the chronic non-market rental shortfall, Vancouver is currently installing on valuable City-owned land 40 temporary modular housing units of 250 SF each. While our politicians congratulate themselves on finding an approach to housing shortages and unaffordability, the manner in which they’re executing this program represents a misguided, wasteful use of high-density land and taxpayer money.

Read article

Our recipe: Valuing an apartment building

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

What goes into the mix when we decide what a building is worth? Here’s our stew:

Location: It’s not just about municipality. Neighbourhood, street, corner or midblock position – they all matter too. We get into the nitty-gritty, converting the property’s location into a quantified value.

Improvements/Condition: Any deferred maintenance? If the large items have been completed (think roof, piping, elevator, any structural requirements), then investors will view the property with greater pricing consideration. Is it a legal non-conforming structure, or does it conform? Any unauthorized suites?

Read article

New rentals are coming! New rentals are coming!

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

The shortfall in rentals hasn’t been merely a Vancouver problem. Municipal governments outside the city’s borders haven’t been coping well with their aging rental stock either. Though a bonanza for rental owners in terms of soaring valuations and sharply escalating rents, the dire shortage in the region has been disruptive, indeed disheartening, to segments of society needing affordability. These include students, young families and seniors, as well as employers looking to attract and retain talent. New supplies of market rentals would help ease these severe pressures.

And now?

Read article

The Rental Housing Crisis: So what else is new?

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

Have the proverbial lights finally flickered on at the corner of Vancouver’s West 12th Avenue and Cambie Street? And have our elected officials and their advisors (read: spin doctors) acknowledged at last that we are in the midst of a rental housing crisis?

Under unrelenting pressure from a vast body of our citizenry – including students, new families, seniors and employers – the news media, BC Housing, the Urban Development Institute, landowners and the odd, very irritating commercial realtor, Vancouver’s municipal leaders after years of ruling in a vacuum of denial have now changed their tune. Even Mayor Robertson, after eight years at the helm, has admitted as much. As quoted in an article in The Guardian by Ashifa Kassam, Robertson said he “wouldn’t have dreamed the [housing] crisis would get this intense” (November 21, 2016). The Mayor artfully deflected blame away from his office by claiming that the crisis was owing to the impact of global capital and the fact that the provincial and federal governments were not doing enough.

We disagree.

Read article