Survey finds most Metro Vancouverites want housing prices to fall

An Angus Reid survey has found the majority of people in Metro Vancouver want to see housing prices come down. 

A majority of Metro Vancouver residents would welcome a drop in real estate prices in the region, according to a new poll.

The Angus Reid survey, released Monday, found that 62 per cent of those polled wanted to see prices fall. Of that group, 26 per cent wanted prices to fall by about 10 per cent, while 36 per cent wanted a price drop of 30 per cent or more.

According to the survey’s overview, “perhaps the most counter-intuitive finding for outsiders” was the substantial number of residents who would like to see the housing market crash.

“While it is likely not surprising that 86 per cent of renters are hoping for a correction, given that they have no personal stake in appreciating housing values, a significant number of current homeowners feel the same way,” the survey said.

Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, was part of the team that conducted the survey.

“Three-in-ten owners say they would prefer the market fall in value by about ten per cent,” Kurl said.

“More notably, they’re also equally as likely to say they would like to see the market crash by 30 per cent or more as they are to say they would like values to rise.”

The survey suggested that high real estate prices are making Vancouverites experience a feeling of altruism.

“Evidently, the pain felt by their neighbours — and children — is weighing on those who would prefer to lose some of their home equity if it means a better quality of life for others.”

Most respondents blamed speculation for the housing crisis, while 35 per cent believed the crisis was due to Metro Vancouver being seen as a desirable place to live.

The also found that 79 per cent of respondents believed B.C. Premier John Horgan’s 30-point plan to address the housing crisis was the right approach.

The NDP’s speculation tax was supported by 88 per cent of respondents. A significant minority, at 39 per cent, supported an even more radical approach to limit the number of homes a person or corporation could own.

Yet at the same time, there was a sense that nothing could be done to improve the situation.

“What emerges as a result of this study is a sense that there is no end in sight to increasing housing costs,” the survey said.

About half of millennials (aged 18 to 35) – at 53 per cent – said regardless of what policies were implemented, they didn’t expect government to have much of an impact on housing prices. That negativity rose to 69 per cent in the 35 to 64 age group and 76 per cent for those 55 and older.

The survey was also conducted in Toronto and compared the two cities. It found – due to having to use transit and facing a commute of an hour or longer – people in the Greater Toronto Area were “slightly more” miserable than people in Vancouver.

“While few from either metropolitan area say housing prices are benefiting the area collectively, Metro Vancouver residents are significantly more negative about the impact.”

A total of 54 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents said housing prices were “hurting a lot,” compared to 30 per cent in Toronto.

The category of housing prices/affordability/real estate was picked by 65 per cent of people as the top issue in Metro Vancouver, an increase of 10 per cent compared to a 2015 Angus Reid study on housing and transportation. During the same period, transportation/traffic/transit dropped to 33 per cent from 36 per cent while homelessness/poverty increased to 27 per cent from 22 per cent.

The data was collected by Angus Reid Institute in an online survey form May 25 to 29 among a representative sample of 719 adult members of Maru Voice Canada, formerly Angus Reid Forum. Maru Voice Canada is an online market research company that pays people for completing surveys.

The survey’s methodology estimates that the probability sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Provided by: Kevin Griffin for the Vancouver Sun

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