Vancouver’s mayor analyses Sydney’s affordability crisis

Font size :

Vancouver's mayor analyses Sydney's affordability crisis

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson – who was in Sydney for the CityTalks event on Tuesday night at the Town Hall – sees many parallels between Sydney and Vancouver’s property markets.

“It took cities like New York and London a generation of global capital influx to skew their real estate prices. [In Vancouver, this] has happened in a decade, at most,” he said. “My sense is Sydney is in a similar predicament.”

Sydney and Vancouver are each enjoying heightened capital investment, thriving economies, and burgeoning populations, with local governments earning huge surpluses from the boom.

On the downside, house price growth has accelerated, pricing out huge swathes of people, from the most vulnerable to those with professional jobs. In both cities, record numbers of homeless people now live on the streets.

According to Robertson, Vancouver and Sydney both suffer from housing affordability issues because “[they’re] way behind in innovation in government”, leaving both cities with few real policy levels to tackle the issue.

“Cities need to have more self-determination and powers to take care of people,” he said. “The symptom of the housing affordability crisis exposes the much bigger structural problem in government that we need to fix.”

Robertson said his experience trying to alleviate the crisis with the limited tools of local office and against the political intransigence of higher levels of government formed the basis of his keynote speech at the Sydney Town Hall.

Last year, Robertson was forced to re-draft his signature 10-year housing plan after it failed to deliver on its key goal: ending homelessness in Vancouver by 2015.

Sydney is now the second most unaffordable major city housing market in the world, according to Demographia’s global ranking of the 10 least affordable major housing markets. Hong Kong is ranked number one and Vancouver is ranked third.

The disconnect between the need for more affordable housing and a grassroots reluctance to greenlight more development is a “delicate balance,” Robertson said. “In cities like Vancouver and Sydney, where the growth pressure and global capital are daunting forces, it does pit communities against developers and elected councils.”

However, Robertson said the tide was turning – in Vancouver at least, where housing forums and council meetings once dominated by the “nimby crowd” are now seeing a “surge of advocacy” from the next generation of young professionals and families “who want to live in the city and cannot access [affordable] housing.”

With interest rates at their lowest for more than 50 years, there are some great rates available. The best thing to do is to compare rates from all the lenders. Let us help take the leg work out of doing this - Compare Home Loans now

Mortgage News and Articles

How to tell when a housing market is cooling How to tell when a housing market is cooling

You need to check clearance rates, listings, and the price gap, among other factors Read more

Growing demand for green apartments in Sydney Growing demand for green apartments in Sydney Both owner-occupiers and investors favour eco-friendly buildings for their energy-saving features and reduced environmental footprint ... Read more

Are property investors as rich as they appear? Are property investors as rich as they appear? A multi-property portfolio doesn’t guarantee easy millions ... Read more

Be proactive about getting a better mortgage deal Be proactive about getting a better mortgage deal Apathy could be costing you a considerable amount of money over the lifespan of your loan ... Read more

More mortgage news and articles

Sponsored Links

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Top Featured Rates
Top Bank Rates

Get help choosing the right home loan

Let us help you find the right home loan for your needs.

Tell us a bit about your circumstances:
  • Purpose of mortgage
  • Household Income
  • How much do you want to borrow?
  • How much deposit do you have?
  • How much is your house worth?
  • How much do you still owe on your mortgage?
  • What type of mortgage do you have?

  • How much is your new home?
  • How much do you want to borrow?
  • How soon do you want a mortgage?
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Where do you live?
  • Phone number

Special Offers

Related Keywords