When glancing at the rising real estate prices in Kamloops, one often hears the refrain that, compared to Vancouver, the prices are reasonable.
Most cities in North America, regardless of their housing prices, would seem affordable compared to Vancouver. But looked at in isolation, Kamloops is becoming — and has become, in many instances — a place where it is extremely difficult for a young person just starting out in life to buy a house.
When homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 range are subject of multiple bidders and the property sells for $55,000 or more over asking price, the signs point to an unaffordable city for not only those trying to enter the market, but those needing more room as their families grow in size.
This is why an idea of Kamloops Coun. Kathy Sinclair is welcome.
Sinclair wants the city to address what she calls the “missing middle” of the housing market — bridging the gap between renting and home ownership.
She said construction of duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, eightplexes, co-operative housing and subsidized housing could increase the city’s rental housing supply and make home ownership more affordable. Indeed they could — and, as Sinclair noted, such housng can be used as infill so as to minimize changes to a neighbourhood’s character.
However, this is not to say any neighbourhood in the city should be considered off-limits for such housing options. We cannot afford (literally and figuratively) to not consider including all manner of housing in all areas of Kamloops if we truly want an affordable market for all.