Bob Rennie of Bob Rennie Realty spoke to the Urban Development Institute (UDI) on Thursday, giving his professional and well thought out opinion on what is happening in Vancouver’s housing market. Bob and his family are what Malcolm Gladwell would call “early adapters”-they have renovated and restored a fabulous building in Chinatown way before that was fashionable, and share their love of good art and design with the community in their gallery. And Bob quite simply, loves Vancouver and has his finger on the pulse of what makes this town tick-real estate.
Bob’s annual UDI speech is the hot ticket in town. Journalist Frances Bula who attended the talk and was tweeting in real-time, noted “if you ever feel lonely, tweet out a Bob Rennie speech. It’s like going to a crowded bar, but in a cloud”. Even if folks are not there, they want to be.
You can read the article by Jeff Lee of the Vancouver Sun here. Jeff sums up Bob’s 2016 speech in five main points.
- Vancouver is not affordable. For cheap houses, 26 sold under $750,000 last year. This year, 26 homes sold for under one million. On the west side only THREE houses sold under 1.7 million.
2. Affordable housing is in the suburbs, not Vancouver.
3. Neighbourhood Groups in Vancouver involved in the planing process are male and old and set in their ways, and need diversity to embrace future generations.
4. A speculation tax aimed at buyers who flip houses would assist the entry-level part of the market.
5. There is no market and there is no supply of houses, so even with nearly 200 billion dollars held in properties by people over 55, they can’t give it to their kids to buy homes.
Bob Rennie stated that this would be the last time he would be speaking to the Urban Development Institute. He has been a tremendous thinker and doer in real estate in Vancouver, and passionate about doing the right thing. I will miss him.