I personally believe, that the solution to the real estate affordability crisis, is not lowering prices. It’s access to the market.

Although lowering prices would solve the affordability issue, the problem with the idea that prices will decrease to affordable levels, to let’s say pre-2009 (i.e. 20%-50% for a Vancouver single detached home), is unrealistic. Market forces, like construction costs, which have doubled in recent years, would mean that building a home, not including the price of land, would cost a few hundred thousand dollars to build a home ($357/sqft on a 2,500 home would cost $892,000).

More importantly, nobody, except non-homeowners are incentivized to have lower prices, which I’d argue is the most powerful market force. Local governments, provincial governments and federal governments all capture more taxes when property values go up. Home owners never want to sell their home for less than what they’ve paid for it. Developers, construction companies, and banks are all dependent on prices increasing to pay for staff, business expenses and to make a profit. Every player in the game of real estate are all alligned with the same incentive for higher and higher prices. …

Below is the full story that was featured on The Georgia Straight, April 7th, 2018. https://www.straight.com/life/1054016/renters-vancouver-we-took-big-property-management-company-court

My girlfriend and I were living in a building in New Westminster, British Columbia that was run by a large property management company called Onni Property Management. We decided that we wanted to move to Vancouver to reduce our commute time and live closer to our friends and family. To do that, we had to break a clause in our lease.

When we moved in however, the landlord made us sign an addendum that said that if we left our home before our fixed-term was up, he would keep our $700 damage deposit. We found out that these additional clauses are fairly common, and actually saw the same agreement on my brother’s lease when he moved to Vancouver in late 2017. …

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As we prepare to launch and get out of Beta, we’re very excited to say that we’re hiring at Maptiks!

It’s been months since we built the MVP of Maptiks (initially called Sliptics), and since then we’ve been able to signup hundreds of users, get valuable product feedback, and build something that our users are loving.

We’re still working on funding, but we’ve committed some cash to the company to help Maptiks go to the next level and it’s time to build something great, and so useful for our customers that whenever they build a map, they plugin Maptiks to ensure their app, or web map gets built faster, with a better user experience and with insightful consumer insights. …

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