Letter: Burnaby real estate investors hate 'horrible' environment


I am (writing) to give my opinion about a direct method of helping the situation now facing Burnaby due to the last council and mayor acting so slowing; what needs to happen for the housing and jobs to come back to Burnaby due to the current provincial government. 

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  • All new homes over 4,000 square feet must be allowed two legal suites, no more of filling in half the basement.
  • Under 4,000 square feet, one legal suite.
  • All properties over 6,000 square feet and more are allowed laneway homes. 
  • Size up to 950 square feet, two bedrooms, two floors and one or two based parking on the property. Must have one parking on the property for every bedroom.
  • Homes over 10,000 square feet are allowed a laneway home up to 1,400 square feet, same as above, one parking per bedroom.
  • Lastly and most productive and helpful to all: all laneway homes must be stratified.

It is the future, like it or not, and do it now or later and start now to ease the pain. (It) allows family members to build and own without older family members having a mortgage for their kids. (For) business, when building, a builder has the opportunity to market and sell the house and the laneway separately, making it more affordable and more buyers coming back to Burnaby which is exactly what everyone wanted.

This plan is without negative impact such as taxes, slowing markets or loss of jobs. Employment will come back. It has been destroyed by this current government. Burnaby can see upswings in revenue with new building permits and overall building again. This revenue has almost stopped, I am sure, except for those who had started before the NDP. This will bring back builders and increase the amount of new rentals with every property developed. This will then allow the market itself to regulate and it will reduce the rental charge monthly due to the amount available units and competition of rentals. This is the only way to solve the rental issue. This may bring a few investors back until the current (provincial) government is removed and changes are brought back from their rental rate freeze. 

I know firsthand that a “rental” condo development that was to be built this year has now stopped. This has created once again a horrible environment for B.C. real estate investors.

Investors require approximately a nine-per-cent return or more in real estate and most say that would never happen. 

Well, typically 2.5-per-cent rental increase plus 1.5-2-per-cent annual inflation hike, plus equity growth which one would hope for 4-5 per cent. There is now no equity growth and no rate hikes so no investor will come to B.C. Burnaby has the ability to buck the trend and go in a positive direction to create more rentals immediately and bring back building affordability housing with suites and strata laneway homes not to mention jobs and trades.

So, in conclusion, stop wasting time like the last four years, take action and pass new bylaws ASAP for positive growth in Burnaby.

Wolf Isachsen, Burnaby


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