Category Archives: politics

What does a Green / NDP government mean for house prices in Vancouver BC?

The Green Party and NDP have announced an intention to form the government of BC and they have some different approaches to the real estate economy than the BC Liberals.

So what does the future look like to you? Will the new government implement some of their more dramatic policy changes and what does this mean for the Vancouver Housing Bubble and the wider BC real estate economy?

Oracle had the following wish list:

1) 30% FBT Province wide. Absolutely No Loopholes.

2) Tax 2nd homes of Citizens an annual property surcharge of 2% with rental offset. 3rd and more homes tax surcharge of 5%.

3) Tax homes of non taxpaying non residents 2%. Tax 2nd homes at 5%.

4) Limit foreign student at any institution to 15% maximum to ease rental crisis.

5) Inteoduce rental tax credit to out tax Evading Landords.

6) Pressure Federal government to limit 10 year tourist visas stays to a max of 3 months per year.

7) introduce extended mortgage amortization periods for those owners who will go underwater with the above changes.

Markoz points out this shift might not be painless for anyone:

Horgan and Weaver Have a Tough Job Ahead.

If they do all the things Eby talked about, real estate prices will definitely come down. The problem is, Krispy has painted our economy into a corner where it is very RE dependent. Lower prices mean lost jobs in construction and related industries. Also, as others have pointed out, lower tax revenues. There are many benefits to lower prices but they may not be self-evident to the 70% who own. Especially people who bought in the last 3 years.

The Krispy alternative, letting prices run amok until a 1 bedroom condo is $4 m, is not an alternative. Still, doing the right thing is going to be very painful and politically unpopular with many.

Dave wonders what’s next for Christy:

I think Clark should make a throne speech and outline what she wants to do for the next year of government and see what happens. Let the Greens and NDP shoot her vision down but at least people know what got voted down. I also think she should also try to split the NDP and Greens, not because it’s politically smart, but because voters should know what their MLAs stand for and support. Small chance she can pull something off, but not likely. I don’t see any ridings or obvious MLAs that the Liberals could split or steal.

Let us know your thoughts on the future of the BC economy and real estate prices in the comments below!

Why does the foreign buyer tax only apply to Metro Vancouver?

Some people love the foreign buyer tax, some people hate it, but at least one person thinks it was a conflict of interest for the finance minister to enact it only in Metro Vancouver when he owns investment properties just outside that boundary:

 

The one home and six investment properties that belong to Mike de Jong in Abbotsford are worth almost $1 million – a significant investment that rose in value relative to similar properties inside Metro Vancouver, records suggest.

That puts de Jong in a conflict of interest when handling the province’s controversial real estate file, says Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch.

“Given that the finance minister has significant real estate investments, I don’t think he should have been taking part in this,” Conacher said.

“He would have to recuse himself or sell his properties. It has to be one or the other. He can’t have a private interest and take part in decisions about his properties.”

But de Jong tells CTV News he had nothing on his mind except doing his job when he moved and voted for the tax in the B.C. Legislature.

“The decision was based exclusively on the analysis of the data,” he said outside a Liberal caucus meeting.

Read the full article over at CTV news.

Poloz: HCG problems ‘idiosyncratic’ and contained

Bullwhip29 pointed out this article in the financial post where Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says that the troubles at Home Capital are ‘idiosyncratic‘ and contained:

Poloz said the central bank saw no signs that Home Capital’s deterioration had triggered contagion, according to an interview with the newspaper on the sidelines of the Group of Seven meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Italy.

“We’d be looking for signs that there are problems with the (financial) system as opposed to preoccupying ourselves with individual institutions,” Poloz said.

He also has some stuff to say about the housing market in general:

Poloz also reiterated in the interview the central bank’s view that recent house price increases were not sustainable, and echoed previous statements that some speculation appeared to be at play in the market. He added that did not mean a major price correction was in store.

“Often, when you have a truly unsustainable housing market, you will see very rapid price increases (and) very rapid credit growth,” Poloz said. “But we don’t see that in the credit side, so I do think a significant amount of this that is fundamental, but layered on top, is a speculative element.”

Read the full article here.

The correlation between interest rates and speculation

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has said he doesn’t think there’s a strong correlation between interest rates and speculation, claiming even a 5% increase in rates wouldn’t have an impact on real estate speculation in Canada.

Over at BetterDwelling.com they disagree with this thought:

It was almost stupid to not buy property at these rates, since it was almost free money. This didn’t just give speculators more capital, it created speculators out of people that would normally not be able to play the game. These aren’t Bay Street suits with wads of cash. Everyone from your barber to grocery store clerks are turning into real estate speculators. Cheap rates, a larger qualified buyer pool, and the expectation that you can always make money, turned shelter into lottery tickets.

Read the full article here.