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Old 09-21-2023, 07:12 AM   #1661
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Well to make those places in the inner city more affordable, you're now building apartment buildings though. Million dollar row houses or multi-family units aren't going to be much more affordable. I know we've talked about Elbow Park, but areas like Bridgeland aren't cheap either. I have to think a half duplex there is going to be about $1m these days?

And yeah, the transit infrastructure in this city is brutal. It has been for decades though. The choice for a lot of first time buyers is pay less, get more house, but have the commute issue. Or you can pay much more, get less house, but walk or bike to work. (Of course there are other factors, and I'm just broad-stroking that).
I think your numbers are a bit off. Take this one that went up recently. It's got 4 units(listed as 2 properties for $787k). So one house created 4 units for under $400k each.



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Old 09-21-2023, 07:31 AM   #1662
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If there is a housing crisis about lower income families not being able to afford homes that don't look like commie blocks, then the immediate focus should on building homes that look like this rather wasting time on the slow and expensive process of densification in areas where land is worth several million dollars or more per acre.



There was a Maclean's article from about a year ago about a family of five that relocated from Vancouver to Calgary and even with a modest budget for Calgary, were able to find a pretty decent townhouse for less than $300K two years ago in a newer NE community. Affordable for a two-income family, still doable with a decent single income and some sacrifices.



Even if that TH's current market value is more like $400K, it's still not going be possible for anything new in the inner city to come close to that value.

https://macleans.ca/economy/realesta...-of-vancouver/

But that means doing something that supposed advocates hate even more than people not being able to afford housing, which is sprawl and new development.
It doesnít matter where the new home goes. If you had a 1 million dollar home in the inner city it frees up the least desireable SFH for a lower income person. This is because the people moving into the 1mm house have a house and the person who buys that house has a house and the person who buys that house has a house. Building more supply regardless of location will help the person.

Sprawl is only required to lower prices if that becomes the only way the build a lower cost option. But even the modern burb is relatively dense compared to say 1950 to about 2000.

Sprawl long term increases costs for everyone so you need to ensure itís being built intelligently.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:57 AM   #1663
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I think your numbers are a bit off. Take this one that went up recently. It's got 4 units(listed as 2 properties for $787k). So one house created 4 units for under $400k each.



The cheapest duplex I saw was $950k and there were no triplex or quads listed.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:06 AM   #1664
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The cheapest duplex I saw was $950k and there were no triplex or quads listed.
Good point, sounds like a lack of supply due to restrictive zoning. We should look into changing that.


Snark aside, can you not acknowledge these actually exist, just becuase you can't find them? I assume they are in high demand and disappear quickly like these ones.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:16 AM   #1665
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Good point, sounds like a lack of supply due to restrictive zoning. We should look into changing that.


Snark aside, can you not acknowledge these actually exist, just becuase you can't find them? I assume they are in high demand and disappear quickly like these ones.
Sure, in some places they exist, but can you acknowledge that this is not affordable housing? If you were listing a place today and the cheapest option is $950k you're not listing it for $400k to be a nice guy.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:26 AM   #1666
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Sure, in some places they exist, but can you acknowledge that this is not affordable housing? If you were listing a place today and the cheapest option is $950k you're not listing it for $400k to be a nice guy.
Well under $400k is more affordable(and the "upgrade effect" will come into play as discussed by others). Think of it this way, if the only option in these neighbourhoods is replacement built SFH for $1 million, that doesn't increase density, or reduce cost. If instead, you build a duplex, or split the lot for 2 $750k that has doubled density. If instead of that you build 4 units for $400k each(as shown before) you have now quadrupled density, and the total cost is lower than than doubling it.

But as you observed, there aren't many of these available, so the price is set by demand. With new zoning, these become easier to build and market pricing may even be cheaper as supply increases.

I've typed this all out, and now I wonder that it seems so obvious that maybe I'm missing something you are saying? Because otherwise I can't figure out what you are missing.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:31 AM   #1667
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Well under $400k is more affordable(and the "upgrade effect" will come into play as discussed by others). Think of it this way, if the only option in these neighbourhoods is replacement built SFH for $1 million, that doesn't increase density, or reduce cost. If instead, you build a duplex, or split the lot for 2 $750k that has doubled density. If instead of that you build 4 units for $400k each(as shown before) you have now quadrupled density, and the total cost is lower than than doubling it.

But as you observed, there aren't many of these available, so the price is set by demand. With new zoning, these become easier to build and market pricing may even be cheaper as supply increases.

I've typed this all out, and now I wonder that it seems so obvious that maybe I'm missing something you are saying? Because otherwise I can't figure out what you are missing.
I don't know what we're even discussing. I just think that to actually get affordable options that will help the people who were protesting outside city hall last week, you basically need apartments. I don't think that's a crazy statement.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:42 AM   #1668
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Who’s going to buy expensive lots and build affordable townhouses?
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:44 AM   #1669
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So a developer buys up 3 lots in a suburb community.

knocks em down and builds a 12 unit apartment with no parking.

All of those extra vehicles are now accommodated in existing infrastructure.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:46 AM   #1670
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Maybe we can just agree that the area where you bought your house will not always stay the same, and you have the choice to either adapt or move. There have been no complaints made that justify maintaining a status quo.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:49 AM   #1671
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Increasing overall supply should decrease prices if the market is supply limited. Upzoning should increase supply. People move up from apartments to these types of units, freeing those for lower income.


Sorry, this all just seems pretty obvious so I'm struggling why it needs to be laid out point by point.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:51 AM   #1672
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Increasing overall supply should decrease prices if the market is supply limited. Upzoning should increase supply. People move up from apartments to these types of units, freeing those for lower income.


Sorry, this all just seems pretty obvious so I'm struggling why it needs to be laid out point by point.
So the assumption is zoning is holding back a significant amount of development that can affect pricing of existing units in a meaningful way? I don’t really see it.

Upzoning could increase some new builds but will it outpace population growth?
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:55 AM   #1673
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Maybe we can just agree that the area where you bought your house will not always stay the same, and you have the choice to either adapt or move. There have been no complaints made that justify maintaining a status quo.
Fair enough...

My point is though that the "cheaper" properties will be away from transit and thus not really designed for low income housing.
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:01 AM   #1674
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So the 73 year old bookkeeper gets to buy a house in their 30s, and dictate what their neighbours can do for the next 40 years?

There will be a never ending chain of someone who was "there first" and doesn't like anyone parking or driving on the public roads we all own in front of their house or blocking the sun that they don't pay taxes to.

So basically nothing should ever get changed, continue the sprawl indefinitely?
But it's not really about "what their neighbors can do" is it. These houses aren't being knocked down and rebuilt by people who live in the neighborhood. It is developers coming in, who never have to deal with the outcome of poor design of putting up a 4 plex with no off street parking, or zero clearance lots where houses are basically touching.

Changing the zoning has very little to do with creating more affordable housing and everything to do with getting money into the pockets of the developers who funded their campaigns in the first place.
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:03 AM   #1675
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So the assumption is zoning is holding back a significant amount of development that can affect pricing of existing units in a meaningful way? I donít really see it.

Upzoning could increase some new builds but will it outpace population growth?
Not on it's own but it's part of the solution.

Guys, it's simple supply and demand. Anything, and I do mean anything, that helps increase supply will decrease prices.

We can argue what we value in our communities for pages but you can't argue simple economics.
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:14 AM   #1676
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But it's not really about "what their neighbors can do" is it. These houses aren't being knocked down and rebuilt by people who live in the neighborhood. It is developers coming in, who never have to deal with the outcome of poor design of putting up a 4 plex with no off street parking, or zero clearance lots where houses are basically touching.

Changing the zoning has very little to do with creating more affordable housing and everything to do with getting money into the pockets of the developers who funded their campaigns in the first place.
That's how it appears to me.
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:18 AM   #1677
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I think your numbers are a bit off. Take this one that went up recently. It's got 4 units(listed as 2 properties for $787k). So one house created 4 units for under $400k each.



This property appears to be a standard duplex with a basement suite, probably on a single title (per side)... So the single home was turned into two $800k duplexes, each with a "mortgage helper" basement suite. Certainly an improvement on affordability and density, but still a far cry from turning a single home into 4 $400k attached homes.

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So the assumption is zoning is holding back a significant amount of development that can affect pricing of existing units in a meaningful way? I don’t really see it.

Upzoning could increase some new builds but will it outpace population growth?
It will be interesting to see what happens when this rolls out, but in theory, the easiest way to significantly increase the value of the property is to up the zoned density... You see it all the time with developers that buy properties simply to upzone and sell for the now higher value.

Will values increase across the board to reflect this newly attainable "highest and best use", or do they remain status quo precisely because it was done across the board?
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:29 AM   #1678
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This property appears to be a standard duplex with a basement suite, probably on a single title (per side)... So the single home was turned into two $800k duplexes, each with a "mortgage helper" basement suite. Certainly an improvement on affordability and density, but still a far cry from turning a single home into 4 $400k attached homes.
It's created 2 homes owners can live in and rent out a suite(at more affordable rates!). It's 4 new homes on the location of one. And each unit gets a garage, too! The cars even get a place to sleep.



The reason upzoning would make these more affordable is that the builders don't need carrying costs for months and months while they get approvals. This unit could have been built cheaper had they not been forced to wait so long. I remember it being sold, and sitting around for a very long time before construction started.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:00 AM   #1679
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But it's not really about "what their neighbors can do" is it. These houses aren't being knocked down and rebuilt by people who live in the neighborhood. It is developers coming in, who never have to deal with the outcome of poor design of putting up a 4 plex with no off street parking, or zero clearance lots where houses are basically touching.

Changing the zoning has very little to do with creating more affordable housing and everything to do with getting money into the pockets of the developers who funded their campaigns in the first place.
If thereís a market for units without off-street parking it means there is a market for units without off-street parking. Thatís either because the people donít have cars and donít need it so they can get savings on it not being built, or that the costs of on-street parking are low enough to create value in not building private property storage.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:20 AM   #1680
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If thereís a market for units without off-street parking it means there is a market for units without off-street parking. Thatís either because the people donít have cars and donít need it so they can get savings on it not being built, or that the costs of on-street parking are low enough to create value in not building private property storage.
There's a massive market for units without off-street parking, because those units are more affordable both in purchase amount and rental amount than those that come with parking.

That doesn't mean those buyers don't have cars.
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