Letter: Housing prices are far too high


So, the new median price for a Kamloops residential home is $502,000, according to an April 1 KTW article (‘Median price for home sales in Kamloops crosses half-million-dollar mark for first time’).

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In the mid-1960s, a new three-bedroom split-level house in Delta sold for between $7,900 and $9,900. In 1970, the average price of a three-bedroom house in Kamloops was between about $20,000 and $22,000. In the 1980s, the average Kamloops home sold for roughly between $75,000 and $90,000. In the 1990s, that cost rose to between $165,000 and $180,000.

These are prices as I can best recall them, but I believe I am reasonably close.

Here we are, only 25 years later, at $502,000 for the median home — and don’t forget the amount of interest being paid on the loan.

Why has the cost of a residential home that you need to raise a family been allowed to soar so high?

The price of rental accommodations is also going through the roof. How many people can say that their incomes are keeping up to these housing costs?

The writing is already on the wall if this ship doesn’t get turned around soon.

It is well past time all levels of government recognize the costs of residential housing cannot continue to climb like this and do more than provide shelters or subsidized housing to solve the problem.

Where are people supposed to live? In dugouts or caves dug into the sides of our hills?

We need to change our ways and stop treating residential housing as a commodity.

Every time a residential property changes hands, the price of that property usually goes up. It’s not only supply and demand or money laundering that is behind the excessive increases in residential housing prices, as many would have us believe.

There are a wide range of groups and processes that need to get examined to determine how or if they are contributing excessively to the unaffordable housing problem, not the least of which are government regulations and fees applied to land development and housing construction.

If prices continue to rise at the present rate in Kamloops and other B.C. communities, we won’t just be looking at the problems Vancouver and Toronto are having — we will be looking at ourselves in the mirror.

Perhaps a few citizens’ task forces to help the guys with the big ideas might help root out and solve some of the problems plaguing the residential-housing industry.

Bob Wren

© Kamloops This Week


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