Category Archives: politics

City warns owners to declare empty homes

Vancouver is reminding home owners that they have the responsibility to fill in tax forms on any vacant homes they own by Feb 2nd or face a fine. A lack of declaration nets a $250 fine and a false declaration nets a $10,000 fine.

It affects any property that is not a principal residence and is not occupied for six months a year.

Robertson says property owners can expect to receive instructions in the mail starting this week on how to make their declarations.

Read the full article here.

Is the foreign buyer tax working?

Recent data shows the number of real estate transactions with foreign buyers has risen, but is still far below the level prior to the implementation of the foreign buyer tax:

The data shows five per cent of the 6,105 property transfers in September involved foreign nationals, up from 2.5 per cent in April.

That remains far below the percentage of foreign nationals buying homes before the former Liberal government implemented a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax in August 2016 in an effort to cool the hot housing market.

The BC Finance Ministry previously reported that from June 10 to Aug. 1, 2016, 13.2 per cent of all property transfer transactions in Metro Vancouver involved foreign buyers.

Read the full article here.

New Zealand bans foreign home buyers

Just me shared this story from the BBC.

Prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said the ban only applied to non-residents.

The country is facing a housing affordability crisis which has left home ownership out of reach for many.

Low interest rates, limited housing stock and immigration have driven up prices in recent years.

Foreign ownership and a housing shortage in New Zealand’s bigger cities were prominent issues in the run-up to the September election, which saw the end of nine years of rule by the conservative National Party.

Read the full article here.

Class action against Airbnb?

Dude Chillin pointed out this article about a Vancouver strata lawyer preparing a class action suit against Airbnb:

A Vancouver strata lawyer says she is preparing a class action lawsuit against Airbnb, alleging the company is “profiting from the unauthorized use of other people’s property.”

Recently, Polina Furtula — who is on the strata council of her Yaletown condo tower — sent demand letters to Airbnb about unauthorized listings in her building. Airbnb notified the hosts of the complaints and shortly afterwards, the hosts decided to remove their listings.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver condo presales, locals to get first crack

The Mayor is said to be drafting a motion that will give local buyers first chance to buy crack condos:

Mayor Gregor Robertson will introduce a motion to give local residents first crack at pre-sale condo sales Tuesday during a Vancouver city council meeting.

The motion asks city staff to draft a policy framework as part of the city’s “Housing Reset” plan.

Critics of the real estate industry have raised concerns about how the increasingly speculative pre-sale market is pushing up prices in both the pre-sale and resale market, and is preventing local residents from buying.

Presumably this will help to end the homeless problem in Vancouver by giving locals easier access to condo presales.

Read the full article here.