Are Developer Fees Responsible for Vancouver's High Housing Costs?

The Vancouver Sun looks at the fees that the city charges developers, such as the community amenity contribution, and finds them much higher than neighboring areas. Even though costs are higher, so are developer profits.

"The high costs of development could be helping to drive up housing prices in the city of Vancouver, figures provided to The Vancouver Sun by the Urban Development Institute show."

"Various city development fees, community amenity charges and sustainability requirements add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of building a condominium unit in the city of Vancouver," continues Tracy Sherlock. "Vancouver charges far more than Burnaby and Surrey, the figures show.

Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, argues that those costs are either passed along to homebuyers or work to limit the amount of viable housing projects.

"But Brian Jackson, the City of Vancouver’s general manager of planning, says market demand drives the price of housing much more than the costs of development."

“'If we took $1,000 off the cost of the CACs or we took $1,000 off the cost of the DCLs,' Jackson said, referring to two types of city development fees, 'is the developer going to take $1,000 off the cost of selling the house? I don’t think they would – they’re going to get the highest price that they could.'”

Full Story: City fees add to Metro Vancouver's housing-cost disparity


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.