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Editorial: Premier Eby needs to address these assessments

Rising assessments reflect the need for action by Premier Eby
B.C. Premier David Eby announces new actions to tackle the housing crisis at the BC legislature in Victoria, B.C. November 21, 2022. | Darren Stone / Times Colonist

Whether you own a condo in LoLo or a palace in the properties, chances are your assessment was up in 2022 – between four and 11 per cent on average, according to the latest data.

Rising property assessments tend to be a bit of a Rorschach Test, depending on your perspective. People already in the market can toast themselves for their wise investment strategy. Anyone hoping to claw their way onto the property ladder just saw it pulled that much farther out of reach.

It’s certainly bad news for anyone on the North Shore who is keen to see us less reliant on commuters clogging the bridges every rush hour.

A reminder: actual market values today likely vary greatly from assessments calculated in July. In real estate terms, six months is an awfully long time. More recent data shows the market began slumping in late spring and hasn’t picked up since.

The Bank of Canada has hiked interest rates several times. Inflation is impacting buying power. And the federal ban on foreign buyers of Canadian real estate is coming into effect (though it’s probably too little, too late for that to have an impact in B.C.).

Even with “modest” growth in assessments, it means we are kicking off 2023 much the same as we have every year in recent memory – still in a housing crisis.

Newly sworn in Premier David Eby has a suite of housing policies he’s eager to enact, aimed at both supply and demand in market housing and new options for below-market rentals. We’re eager to see these get moving because we can’t afford to live in the status quo any longer.

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