The NDP government of British Columbia has introduced an aggressive $6 billion plan targeting luxury homes, foreign buyers and absentee property owners.
In an attempt to make housing in Vancouver more affordable for everyone, the NDP government has launched over 30 measures that include increasing property taxes on homes above $3 million by thousands of dollars a year, increase foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% (an extra $50,000 in tax for every million dollars). taxing AirBnB rentals and some new taxes as well. The AirBnB should be no surprise as I have posted about it in the past and vlogged about it on my youtube channel.
The idea is to take money from those that have it and buy housing for those that want to live in Vancouver, but can’t afford it. The plan is an extensive one that will require a large degree of complexity and hiring staff in order to implement. A large portion of taxes raised will end up going to hiring more government employees. What is left will go towards building of rental and affordable housing according to their targets.
Over the years, Canadian real estate has become the place for foreigners, especially those from China, Russia, India, Middle East to park their money. For whatever reason, these individuals feel that it is safer to put their money in Canada, away from the legal, political and economic uncertainty in their home countries. In the process, they have driven up Canadian real estate prices beyond the reach of the average hard working Canadian. Well-educated and willing youth, many with fairly decent jobs, and unable to purchase their own home are seeing unemployed foreign youth living in multi-million dollar homes and driving luxury or even exotic sports cars.
The message is clear, in order to appease the cries of the general population for affordable housing, politicians looking to get elected have yielded the battle cry of affordable housing. Unable to address the fundamental underlying issue they have turned to smoke and mirrors to address the concerns of the population. Unfortunately, this is not going to end here as those underlying issues remain unaddressed.
There is a reason why foreigners are able to buy homes when Canadians cannot afford it. There is a reason why well-educated Canadians can not get jobs and foreigners are living luxurious lifestyles without employment. Rather than address those issues, the NDP government of B.C. is simply taking money from those that it sees having a lot of it and giving it to those that don’t have enough of it.
It is probably that the prices of the $3 million plus homes will be cooled. It is also probable that some of those home owners may now liquidate their $3 million home, but will a homeless person buy it? No, that homeless person will still be homeless. But, those foreigners may not be visiting Vancouver, spending their money at restaurants, transportation, buyer cars, furniture, etc. If that happens the impact on average local jobs could be negative, which means less tax revenues. In turn, this could make it even harder for individuals to afford homes at all levels of prices.
The NDP government’s message is clear, Vancouver belongs to British Columbians, so speculate on real estate somewhere else!