Here’s an odd jumble of news from today’s Vancouver Sun. It looks like housing starts did a suprise rebound in May with more than expected increases in single family and multiple dwelling sectors. The biggest jump was a 22% increase in Ontario, the smallest was actually the opposite of an increase.. A whaddyacallit? Oh yeah, a decrease. BC housing starts dropped 5% and are now near record lows. Are developers seeing tough times ahead, or have they over-reacted and are we going to run out of condos?
Meanwhile Vancouver has been named ‘the most livable city‘ by the Economist Intelligence Unit when it comes to the combination of health care, stability, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. According to the poll, the main problem Vancouver faces is “petty crime and the availability of good-quality housing.”
Here’s someone who might disagree with that assesment and add ‘taxes’ to the list. A BC realtor has been extradited from Mexico and charged with tax evasion after he filed claims of ‘no income’ for 2001 to 2004. His argument to the court? He claims his activities as a real estate agent were not taxable since they were conducted in his own capacity as a “natural person”.
Meanwhile, you better enjoy those stories of celebrity foreclosures while you can, because the OECD has just declared that the downturn has hit bottom in Canada. Guess it’s a good thing we’ve got that big jump in National housing starts huh?