The adjectives used to describe it included hot and sizzling. Sometimes it was called a bubble or a debacle; prices jumped and rose sharply and skyrocketed.
But the first week of January 2016 was when B.C.’s real estate boom got personal, when thousands of property owners across Metro Vancouver learned their assessment would rise by double digits, in some cases by as much as 40 per cent. The increase meant some homeowners would pay more in property tax, and while the increased home value was a boon for some, others worried about the seemingly ever-increasing cost of simply staying put in the region.
On Feb. 6, the Globe and Mail published a story that showed “the real estate technique fuelling Vancouver’s housing market.” The story detailed how some realtors were assignment contracts to flip properties and make untaxed profits. The B.C. government would later change the rules around assignment contracts.
In March, Vancouver’s annual homelessness count revealed the highest number of people sleeping outside in 10 years.