Elizabeth Murphy essentially writes one column.  Here’s the latest version in Business in Vancouver:

Rezoning - Murphy

The rush to rezone fuels speculative land inflation that’s further exacerbated by unregulated foreign capital flows. The fact that the City of Vancouver already has ample zoned capacity for 20 to 30 years of growth needs to be considered before proceeding down this road.

Governments are reluctant to address the real causes of unaffordability, such as foreign capital flowing into real estate and selling citizenship through Quebec’s foreign investor program, whose investors land in Vancouver. These factors are disconnecting residential prices from the local economy.

Instead, the government points to simple supply-and-demand economics, even though that is no longer working. …  Vancouver’s crazy real estate is being driven by land inflation leading to unaffordability in existing and new developments.

The so-called antidote of increasing housing supply through rezoning is increasing land value speculation and making the situation worse. …

According to a June 2014 city consultant’s report, “Over the last five years, the city has approved rezonings faster than the new capacity is being used. The city has sufficient capacity in existing zoning and approved community plans to accommodate over 20 years of supply at the recent pace of residential development.”

Emphasis is on the “over” 20 years, which could easily be over 30 years. …

With so much zoned capacity it makes no sense to rezone affordable neighbourhoods like Grandview (The Drive), which has so many affordable rentals, co-ops, social housing and multi-suited heritage houses.


So is Elizabeth right?  The City has ample zoned capacity to handle growth.  Rezoning increases speculation, and raises housing and rental costs.  Don’t do any more.