Category Archives: politics

Eliminate character to avoid affordability 

There are some old homes on Vancouver and some people think we shouldn’t be tearing down 1000 of them each year.  The city has some heritage and ‘character’ protections in place, but these have the unfortunate side effects of slowing the relentless rising of house prices:

“The real data on the house next door is that it reduced the value by 15 per cent,” said Jackson, whose neighbour’s house was re-listed and sold for less money after the city determined it has “character features” on the exterior. 

Read the full article here

Interest free loans get expensive

Bullwhip29 points out an article that says the BC first time buyer loans program will likely cost the government twice as much as they claim.

“The Ministry of Finance estimates that for every dollar of loan proceeds under HOME, taxpayers will lose about 19 cents in administrative costs and foregone interest. This estimate ignores the cost of default losses that may arise if borrowers are unable to repay their loans.”

Read the full article here.

Ramping back on the foreign buyer tax

Christy Clark has said that the province intends to make some changes to the foreign buyer tax, exempting those with work permits.  No word yet on if there will be a limit on the number of properties that are exempt.

Clark made the comments Sunday while speaking to reporters at a Lunar New Year event in Vancouver.

“We’re going to lift the foreign owners tax on people who have work permits, who are paying taxes and living in British Columbia as a way to encourage more people to come.”

Clark did not elaborate on the proposed changes.

Read the original article here.

 

This is a real estate province

The new BC government interest free loans program for first time buyers might help to get some more condos sold.  Certainly real estate developers in this province tend to be in agreement with government policies, showing their appreciation by holding 8 of the top 10 liberal donor spots:

Eight of the 10 top donors to the B.C. Liberal party in 2016, and so far in 2017, are involved in the province’s property development and construction industries.

Combined, the eight donors contributed nearly $1.5 million of the $12.5 million collected by the Liberals during the period, an analysis by Postmedia News of the donor list released by the Liberals last week shows.

Some of the real estate development and construction sector donations came in six-figure instalments.

At least this booming real estate market is creating lots of jobs right?

Well, not as many as Quebec which created more full time jobs than any other province and accounts for 42% of national labor growth in 2016.

Vancouver renters help pay homeowner taxes

If you own a small run down million dollar house in Vancouver, let’s take a moment to thank the renters who help pay for some vital services, like the new first time buyer loans and the homeowner grant, the cap of which has just been raised to 1.6 million.

“This is a remarkably lousy policy,” said Thomas Davidoff, head of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate. “You’re going to take money from people who don’t own homes and give it to people who own homes. That seems to be a step exactly in the wrong direction if the dominant issue is affordability.”

Read the full article over at Bloomberg.