Renting In Vancouver Just Turned Into “The Hunger Games”

Renting In Vancouver Just Turned Into The Hunger Games

Think renting in Toronto is rough? Vancouver highlights just how crappy things can get. CBC Vancouver reporter Angela Sterritt shared on her Twitter, a massive lineup to view a rental unit. That’s right, a single rental unit. The crowd was littered with families desperately attempting to get a shot at affordable housing in the city, which she compared to the “Hunger Games.” Pretty crappy, but statistics show this situation might further deteriorate very soon.

Over 130 People Lined Up For Hours For A Chance

The fuss was over a 2 bedroom rental in a co-op, a unicorn in the city apparently. The $1200 co-op apartment is targeted at low income families, so the apartment was around $200 cheaper per month than fair market value. According to the CBC, over 130 people lined up for a chance to look at the single apartment. While paid line standers have been used to market condos, a co-op does not stand to gain from showing demand. The people on these waitlists have been there for years.

Rental Vacancies Hit 8 Year Low

Co-ops aren’t plentiful, but rentals across the city are getting pretty scarce in general. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) most recent survey, vacancy was only 0.7%. This is the lowest rate since 2008, when rental vacancies hit 0.6%. To contrast, Toronto, now the country’s hottest market, had a rental vacancy at 1.4% during the same period. So Vancouver still sucks in the rental planning department.

Apartment Rental Vacancies: Toronto Vs. Vancouver

Expect It To Get Worse

Despite the shortage of purpose built rentals, expect it to get worse. Construction starts hit a multi-decade high in March, but rental construction declined 34%. While the extra construction is suppose to help affordability, it can only help if you can afford to buy a home. Although many of the condos will be bought for the purpose of renting out by micro-landlords.

These condos that will hit the market as secondary rentals, presents its own set of problems. CMHC stats show that the secondary rental units are generally higher in price. In 2016, they were an average of 19% higher, since renters are likely covering extra costs like the interest on the owner’s mortgage. Depending on growth of the rental market through the secondary market will send prices higher.
Affordable housing in Vancouver has been steadily deteriorating for the past decade. Soaring land values drastically reduce incentive to build rental properties. It’s no wonder the city mints a new homeless person every 30 hours.

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  • Reply
    Dave 7 years ago

    This is what a world class city does, right? We line up and fight for an apartment. *slow clap*

    • Reply
      Tim 7 years ago

      This is what happens when people vote in criminals like Christy Clark, a whore to developers and someone who turns a blind eye to money laundering and foreign speculation on real estate. This is what happens when people vote in airhead Gregor Robertson, a developers stooge who has allowed his developer buddies to pave the streets with condos at the expense of new rental apartments. Condos are mainly bought by investors and speculators. So after 10 years of not keeping the rental stock up with the increase in population the dipstick says we have a housing shortage. What a moron.

  • Reply
    Mike Werry 7 years ago

    I’m sure “foreign buyers did this” too. This is just terrible mismanagement of the city, and it’s unfortunate that such a beautiful place has been taken over by the greed for property tax dollars.

    • Reply
      Gregor Sucks 7 years ago

      Agreed. We put so much emphasis on the mayor’s green plans, but none on how to actually build a sustainable city.

  • Reply
    Bay Street Guy 7 years ago

    This is a country where people are seen as labour inputs. If you don’t provide maximum contributions to the tax system, you are not prioritized. We’re a third world country, masquerading as a first world one. Doctoring statistics, with politicians spending hundreds of millions of dollars on glossy ad campaigns to convince the rest of the world we’re doing really, really well. In actuality, this place is in the crapper.

  • Reply
    One Percenter 7 years ago

    Screw em. If you can’t cut it with a family in Vancouver, move to a cheaper part of the country. Not everyone can live in the most beautiful part of a province, so if you can’t scram. What’s next, everyone has an equal right to a mansion?

    • Reply
      Michael Zhang 7 years ago

      Not sure if this is sarcasm, but there’s some truth to it. World class cities aren’t for everyone. If you can’t cut in Vancouver, move to a place where you can. There’s no reason to be here if you aren’t in school, starting your career off, or a high income earner.

      • Reply
        Lee 7 years ago

        You sir, an arrogant bag of crap. Cities need people of *all* classes to be effective. That’s how lively cities are created. Building a city for the rich results in places like Monaco, which are beautiful – but don’t produce a lot other than a vacation spot.

      • Reply
        Timmy 7 years ago

        Vancouver is not a world class city. That is a moniker brought on by the developers to dupe people into coming here. Vancouver is a city overrun by Chinese money laundering and foreign speculation. With no character, but tonnes of ugly hi rises and massive congestion, lame entertainment, few large companies or head offices or good paying jobs. It is a beautiful city with a nice climate, full of people who park their money in real estate.

  • Reply
    Miller 7 years ago

    Does Gregor Roberston have amnesia? Does he not remember Vancouver in the early 80s? It was a livable city. An average small house in an average neighbourhood was around $50,000 – to own, not rent! Every Vancouverite with an average income, or even a low income, expected to be a home owner some day. Buying a home was once-upon-a-time something people did in order to live in it, and/or raise a family in it. Imagine that! The affordability of rent/real estate was not even a topic of much discussion. Gregor was here, he should remember. Fast forward 4 decades and Vancouver (and the future of the city) has been sold to the highest bidders from around the globe. The people of Vancouver – the middle class, the working class – have been completely ignored and abandoned. Vancouver has been transformed into a city obsessed with rent and real estate, where everyone despises the real estate market except for greedy speculators who love to remind people that Vancouver is now a “world class city” so shut up and get used it. If this is “world class”, then give me non-world class.

    • Reply
      nonconfidencevote 7 years ago

      Gregor Robertson was born in North Van, grew up in San Fran, lived in New Zealand, the Cariboo, and then ended up in Langley.
      Happy Planet barely survived his leadership
      He has dumped his wife for a billionaires daughter.
      He doesnt care about you or anyone else.
      He’s a politician.
      He loves himself

    • Reply
      Timmy 7 years ago

      The developers were looking for someone gullible and stupid to enable them to pave over the city with ugly hi rise condos. Gregor fit the bill–not to smart, unethical, and clueless about how to run a city. His biggest campaign contribution came from developers.

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