Housing decline 19% in British Columbia due to shift in short-term rentals: study

A McGill University professor has discovered some scary numbers about short-term rentals in British Columbia.

David Wachsmuth conducted a study on the influence of short-term commercial rent growth on housing availability and costs in British Columbia.

“The report highlights the need for the Province of British Columbia to implement a province-wide short-term rental registry and put in place accountability measures to save renters billions rents and meet the needs in terms of supply, accessibility and affordability of housing”, indicates the study.

The study found that more than 16,000 homes moved from residential status to short-term commercial (investor-owned) rentals in 2022, meaning a 19.1 percent drop in housing availability across the board. Province.

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The study indicates that the rapid increase in short-term rentals in 2022 contributed to a 28% increase in the cost of rent.

British Columbia renters are estimated to have borne an additional $2 billion in rent between 2016 and 2021 due to the vast expansion of short-term rentals.

“Across Canada, our existing affordable housing stock is disappearing at an alarming rate. New units under construction are not meeting the affordability levels that Canadians need, and for every new unit built, at least five are lost to excessive rent increases, renovations, redevelopments and conversions to new homes. “other uses like short-term rentals,” Annie said. Hodgins, executive director of the Canadian Center for Housing Rights.

“This report demonstrates how short-term commercial rentals are exacerbating Canada’s affordability crisis by driving up rents and taking away desperately needed housing from renting households.

“Governments in British Columbia and across Canada must work together to implement regulations to stabilize rent increases and mitigate the impact of short-term commercial rentals on the housing affordability crisis .

In Vancouver, the city recently took steps to try to solve short-term rental problems by increasing fees.

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“I think what we’re hearing loud and clear is a frustration with unlicensed or illegal short-term rental operations within the city,” the Vancouver city councilor said. Sarah Kirby-Yung said.

It will now cost $1,000 per year to obtain a short-term rental license in Vancouver.

City staff had proposed raising the fee to $450, but at last week’s meeting, Coun. Lenny Zhou proposed an amendment to increase fees.

“We can send a very clear signal to people that illegal short-term rentals are not acceptable in the city of Vancouver,” Zhou told PKBNEWS.

Vancouver’s current short-term rental fees of $109 are much lower than other British Columbia cities, such as Squamish, at $500, and Kelowna, at $345.

Before the end of the year, British Columbia Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said he planned to introduce legislation to address short-term rental issues.

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