A study showed that Victoria has the second lowest home-ownership rate in the country, with nearly two-thirds of its residents renting, as reported by news portal CHEK.

A closer assessment on the matter resulted to identifying affordability as the main driver of low home ownership in the city. Tony Joe, a real estate agent in the area for almost 30 years, said that Victoria’s market has always been expensive and in demand.

He underscored the importance of being able to address the need for more homes, if not for costing issues. “It’s amazing to know that there’s a need that exists and that there are contractors and developers out there that would like to fill that need, but they can’t because of timelines and costs,” said Joe.

However, Together Against Poverty believed otherwise. “I think the last 10 years have shown that we can’t build our way out of this problem,” said the organization’s Executive Director Doug King.

“By building more and more rental housing we’re not addressing affordability. It hasn’t had an impact. We’ve been telling the government it’s time to stop focusing on development and start focusing on regulation.”

The rate of home ownership in Canada had steadily increased from 1971 until 2016, when it suffered the first decline in nearly half a century.

There were many reports at the time that linked the slowdown in home ownership to the economic depression – a time when incomes and buying power were falling, but home values continued rising.

 “There’s no escape right now from the lack of affordability in our housing market,” noted King.

“Home ownership is not going to get you out of the problem, and lack of home ownership means you’re going to have to pay high rent.”

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