(February 2017) - April 28, 2017

Canadian GDP was essentially unchanged in February following very strong growth in January and three consecutive monthly increases. At the industry level, output was led by higher output in the real estate sector, as well as growth in the finance and construction industries.  Declining output in the goods sector, particularly manufacturing and oil and gas, offset gains in other sectors.

Despite February's disappointing GDP number, we are still tracking first quarter growth at 3.5 per cent due to very strong economic data observed year-to-date. However, it was also reported today that the US economy grew only 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year, which could mean Canadian exports were weaker than expected.


People may not know the Marinus in New Westminster took 16 years before it was approved - absolutely ridiculous.
Even today some projects in Metro Vancouver take five to seven years to get from conception to construction. I was recently involved in a single family lot sale and development in Delta that took 4 years for approval. 4 YEARS!

Some developers who can't afford to carry the financial burden waiting for city approvals are forced to sell, some people and media call them flippers, of course without back checking the circumstances.

What's needed for our housing crisis is a more developer-friendly environment to promote price friendly housing options, recently dubbed in the media as the “missing middle” but they also include seniors, people with disablities and folks on fixed incomes. 
Councils, need to create clear deadlines for project approvals, councils are also greedy, they need to change the rules away from the arduous and time-consuming case-by-case negotiations for the community amenity contribution to a set price per unit or a price per square foot.
Consumers in the lower mainland are looking for more affordable medium-density projects such as duplexes, courtyard apartments, townhouses, laneway houses and secondary suites. The goal for cities and municipalities should be, attracting young families that can’t fit comfortably in a small high rise condo unit but cannot afford a single-detached home in the area they want to call home.
We need high density near commercial nodes, medium density up to 6 stories along transportation corridors, we also need to retrofit our neighbourhoods with small commercial centres to make them more walkable, less car dependent.
Councils can legislate and bylaw their way out of this problem, BUT it takes political will and vision. Something sadly lacking in most areas in the lower mainland.
The housing issues we are having need to be done with partnerships, with solid local financial institutions, with quality companies who build these types of homes, and developers who are actually putting capital and shovels into the ground.