You know what the difference between you and the wealthy is?
The wealthy have lots of money.
And they tend to keep hold of it by using perfectly legal techniques such as buying and selling real estate within a bare trust to avoid taxes. One recent example prevented more than $2 million from from being vacuumed up into government coffers.
Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver has been concerned about the bare trust for the last two years, highlighting the need to fix the loophole.
He says people who are very wealthy or investing from abroad would be recommended by astute accountants to purchase their house using the loophole.
“Every time most people buy and sell a house, they’re paying property transfer tax. It’s only the wealthy and the wise who would actually buy in bare trust,” said Weaver.
“As a society, if every single person created a bare trust and bought every property in a bare trust there would be no more property transfer tax collected in British Columbia… there’s no reason not to change it.”
Just think of the efficiencies and tax dollars saved if every real estate transaction in BC happened through a bare trust. Less money spent in taxes means more money flowing into a supporting a healthy local economy. Bare trusts for all!
CTV looked at how much rising real estate prices added to the personal wealth of the BC Cabinet – $2.3 million this year alone.
Surging real estate values added $2.3 million to B.C. cabinet ministers’ personal wealth this year alone, as the government says coming measures to ease housing affordability won’t include any that lower prices.
One minister saw her four properties jump $765,000, more than five times a minister’s salary. Another saw gains on a portfolio of eight homes. On average, ministers made $103,000 – more than an MLA’s salary, according to a review of public records by CTV News.
It’s natural for those ministers to welcome their own wealth boost, but they have to realize how their eye-popping gains translate into tremendous hardship for young people trying to get into the notorious Vancouver property market, said UBC professor Paul Kershaw.
Read the full article here.
As YVR points out, maybe it’s not just wealthy foreigners who are to blame for rising prices:
Funny thing is HAM is supposed to be buying all the property. Susan Anton owns 4 houses in Vancouver and DeJong owns 8 properties in Abbotsford.
Could that be the problem? Locals owning multiple properties? That is 12 properties between 2 people. Both are white and locals.
The middle class in Vancouver is shrinking.
A widening gulf between the rich and the poor makes for a marked shift in demographics over the last 40 years.
And there’s a fascinating difference between Toronto and Vancouver when it comes to distribution of these two classes:
In Toronto high income residents have centered around transit hubs, while in Vancouver the opposite has happened and poverty has spread along the skytrain line.
And numbers from 2010 income tax returns that Ley received this week show accelerated polarization between rich and poor, especially in the Downtown Eastside.
Vancouver’s experience is opposite of Toronto when it comes to transit, Ley said, as high income residents concentrate around transit in Hogtown.
It’s a phenomenon Martin Wyant, CEO of Tri-Cities social services organization the Share Society, can see simply by looking at the increase of residents that need Share’s food bank – a 59 per cent rise since 2007.
In the suburbs, new condo developments hide the poverty, he said, but most people are forced to commute for higher paying jobs.
I guess the question is this: will the recent push to build and sell condo towers at transit hubs shift this trend up or down?
Hey, guess what? You made it to the end of another work week. It’s friday and that means it’s time for us to kick back with our open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few links to get the conversation started:
–Will the US outpace Canadian growth?
–The housing bubble makes us rich
–Flying too close to the sun?
–Vancouver slides, Toronto ‘balanced’
–Commercial RE cheaper to buy
–A campaign based on video games
–Mondo condo listings
–Updated Real estate bubble chart book
–Consumer debt growing slower
–What to make of new HPI?
–Olympic plunge in London prices
–Comment formatting tips
So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!
If you’re wondering why we haven’t heard as much about wealthy chinese buyers lately as prices drift down in Vancouver, maybe it’s because they’re moving to the USA.
“California has always been popular with Asian buyers,” he told beyondbrics. “But whereas before it was mainly buyers from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, now we are seeing more mainland buyers visiting.”
Reasons for purchases vary, say those who have dealt with overseas Chinese buyers. Some are buying because they want to emigrate or they have children who will go to school in the US. More and more Chinese millionaires are looking to settle in the US or at least secure residency rights.
And why would they be buying in the US as opposed to Canada?
Others buy because the numbers add up: the renminbi is relatively strong against the US dollar and property prices are cheap compared to Australia or Canada.
But it’s not supposed to work like that! Wealthy people aren’t supposed to look for good deals..