All posts by VCI Admin

Weekend Free-for-all!

Usually we post this as a Friday Free-for-all, but we’re a day late this time.

It’s our open topic discussion thread for the weekend!

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Post-tax foreign buyers 1.3%
Housing market problems
CMHC issues warning
Whats the magic inventory number?
Real estate trends
No rate cut for Canada
CMHC plays catch up on warnings

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Vacancy Rates almost double 2001

After that irritating interruption from a hack attack, we’re back.

Meanwhile a lot of other people have gone to live somewhere else while they leave houses here empty.  According to this article over at BNN the number of vacant homes in Vancouver has nearly doubled since 2001:

Mayor Gregor Robertson, who has criticized some of Mr. Yan’s tracking of foreign home ownership in his city, said this latest study reinforces his government’s commitment to penalizing those who leave properties vacant.

“Seeing data that demonstrates there may be even more underutilized homes than BC Hydro suggests gives us more reason to aggressively move on the empty homes tax,” Mr. Robertson told The Globe and Mail Tuesday.

“We certainly hear, anecdotally, concerns about empty homes in various neighbourhoods, and now the body of evidence is building, so that helps.”

The B.C. government passed legislation in the summer allowing Vancouver to impose a tax on empty homes, which the city argues are taking up housing that could be rented out.

The province has said it will consider similar requests from other cities.

Read the full article here.

Uh-oh Canada: Record debt threatens stability

Canadian debt is now almost triple the size of the national economy. How did we get here? A decade long housing boom!

While Canada boasts the lowest government debt load among Group-of-Seven countries, household debt is the highest of its peers, the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS said last month in its quarterly report. In September, Statistics Canada reported household liabilities rose to 100.5 percent of GDP, exceeding the size of its economy for the first time.

Canada was the only developed country showing early signs of stress in its domestic banking system amid “unusually high” credit growth relative to GDP, the BIS said.

“This debt overhang represents one thing and one thing only: a pervasive constraint on Canada’s economic growth potential,” David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. said by phone from Toronto. “When you get to levels on total debt that makes even the Italians blush, you know you’re in a straitjacket.”

Read the full article over at Bloomberg.

Friday Free-for-all! Oct 21st 2016

What day is it? 

Friday!

That means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all, our regulag end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

-unfortunately lazy admin didn’t get to the links..

But what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below and have an excellent weekend!

How do you tax an empty home?

The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply.  Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.

If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?

Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?

What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?

What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?