Category Archives: politics

Canada to crack down on real estate transaction tax cheats

Looking to cheat on your real estate transaction taxes? Bad news, the CRA has decided it doesn’t want you to and is coming after real estate tax cheats.

From April 2015 to March 2017, the CRA audits of real estate transactions resulted in more than $329.4 million in assessed income that had not been reported. During this time, the CRA applied over $17 million in penalties, primarily associated with Canada’s two major real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

Canadians work hard for their money and the Government of Canada recognizes that many families count their principal residence as both their home and most valued asset.‎ The CRA will continue to strengthen relationships with key partners such as provinces, territories, and municipalities to further expand, obtain, and exchange information on real estate transactions, thereby enhancing the CRA’s ability to combat tax evasion and avoidance.

17 million in penalties? That’s almost enough to buy a fixer-upper on the north shore!

Politicians want to solve Vancouver housing problems

Good news!

If you’ve got an idea of how to make housing more affordable in Vancouver, city officials say they’re all ears.

“I think we’re almost at the desperation stage,” said Randy Pecarski, the City of Vancouver’s deputy director of planning. “People are on the verge of leaving the city because they can’t find a place to stay.”

First step: another survey to improve housing affordability over the next ten years.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

Low interest rates have done their job.

Southseacompany pointed out this article where Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz is reported to have said that low interest rates have done their job.

So what exactly was the job of low interest rates?

Three years ago the BOC was issuing warnings that real estate in Canada was as much as 30% overvalued in some markets and posed a threat to the financial system.

How’s that concern looking these days ?

Bank of Canada concerned about debt and housing market

The Bank of Canada is still worried about housing debt levels in Canada and joins the OECD in expressing that concern:

The two biggest concerns on the bank’s radar are also intertwined. It said the growth in mortgage lending in Toronto and Vancouver has largely fuelled an increase in Canada’s overall household indebtedness since the bank’s last review six months ago.

“Highly indebted households have less flexibility to deal with sudden changes in their income,” said the bank.

“As the number of these households grows, it is more likely that adverse economic shocks to households would significantly affect the economy and the financial system.”

The document was released as concerns about the Canadian real estate market — domestically and from abroad — continue to pile up.

Read the full article over at the Financial Post.

NDP to review BC first time buyer loans program

The recent BC first time buyer loans program announced by the liberal government has successfully driven condo prices higher by handing out interest free loans from tax payers to first time buyers, but it sounds like David Eby and the NDP want to ruin that party:

“We were told by economists at SFU, UBC, CMHC that the impact of the program would be to increase the cost of the housing stock,” says Eby.

“Essentially a transfer of money directly to developers and people selling their existing homes, and put people further into debt. So if that is truly the impact of the program in Metro Vancouver, then that’s something we want to review and make sure there’s not a better way we could allocate the $700-million that’s been allocated to that program.”

Read the full article over at News 1130.