Armed with new data, B.C. set for crackdown on tax evasion in Vancouver property market

[Globe and Mail - December 11, 2019] Government policies aimed at reducing speculation in Vancouver’s property market have worked to curb foreign buying and speculative demand. That was merely part one, says high-profile immigration lawyer and analyst, Richard Kurland, who’s been studying the impact of those policies. “Part 1 was putting the machine together,” Mr. Kurland says. “Part 2 is using the machine to go after tax evaders in the Vancouver property market. At the end of the day, we are [...]

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Vancouver’s empty homes tax increasing by 25%

[CTV - November 28, 2019] VANCOUVER -- Vancouver's controversial empty homes tax is going up by 25 per cent starting next year, and there will be more increases to come, following a decision by city council. The change means that starting next year, homeowners affected by the tax will be paying 1.25 per cent on their home's assessed value, up from the one per cent they have been paying since the tax took effect in January 2017. The motion, brought forward by [...]

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Vancouver passes 7% property tax increase for 2020

[CBC - December 17, 2019] Vancouver homeowners will see their highest property tax increase in at least a decade — but it will be smaller than what was originally considered. Council passed its 2020 budget Tuesday with an average seven per cent property tax increase for next year, down from the 8.2 per cent proposed last month. "It is funding … council priorities that align with public priorities," said Coun. Adriane Carr, who brought forward the main amendments to the budget. "[But] in every department there's [...]

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10,000 units of public rental housing needed in Metro Vancouver every year: report

[Vancouver Urbanized - December 11, 2019] There is a need for a public housing program that generates 10,000 units of non-market rental housing in Metro Vancouver annually, according to a new report by a think tank. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says such an ambitious housing strategy led by the provincial and federal governments could take inspiration from the public housing programs of cities like Singapore and Vienna, where half of the housing is by the state. This would address the [...]

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B.C.’s speculation tax increasing from 0.5% to 2% in 2020

[CBC - December 10, 2019] The B.C. government has announced it is raising the Speculation and Vacancy Tax on Dec. 31 from 0.5 per cent to two per cent for foreign owners and for satellite families, the majority of whose income is not reported on a Canadian tax return. Some new exemptions to the tax will be brought in while others currently in place will be phased out. Stricter rules also coming for exemptions - The province says the $115 million in revenue collected from the [...]

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Canadian Housing Market Trends To Look Out For In 2020 – The slowdown seems to be over.

[Huffington Post - November 3, 2019] The floodgates have officially opened for Canadian housing market forecasts for the next year. We’ve already heard that interest rates will likely sink lower in 2020 as the housing market continues to rally through the first half of the year. There’s also speculation around how the Liberals’ October election win will impact housing affordability and whether the NDP will play a bigger role in setting the housing policy agenda within the new minority government. Now the Canada [...]

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Bank of Canada holds rate at 1.75%, says Canada’s ‘resilience’ will be ‘tested’

[Global News - October 30, 2019] The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate on hold in a decision that positions the country as an exception among advanced economies already responding to the weakening world economy. Governor Stephen Poloz’s team says the domestic economy has held up well in many respects and inflation has been close to target. They warn, however, that Canada isn’t immune to the negative effects of slowing global growth. “In considering the appropriate path for monetary [...]

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Federal election 2019: Where do the parties stand on housing and real estate?

[Globe and Mail - October 1, 2019] Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wasted no time making real estate an election issue. On the first morning of the campaign, he stood outside a townhouse development in Victoria and unveiled his policies on housing affordability. It was an acknowledgment that the issue is top of mind for many Canadians, especially those living in urban areas where home prices have soared. In big cities and suburbs, young people worry they’ll never be able to afford a [...]

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Toronto, Vancouver home sales surge as Canada’s most expensive cities move into recovery mode

[Globe and Mail - October 3, 2019] Home sales rose sharply in Toronto and Vancouver last month as Canada’s most expensive cities continued to move strongly into recovery mode after a long slump. Sales of all home types climbed by 22 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area in September compared with the same month last year, while average prices rose by 5.8 per cent. Much of the growth in activity came from a sharp rebound in sales of detached houses. In [...]

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Tories pledge to boost mortgage repayment periods for first-time buyers

[Globe and Mail - September 23, 2019] Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said a Tory government would review the mortgage stress test and expand repayment periods, proposals that would partly reverse Ottawa’s efforts to discourage homebuyers from taking on too much debt. Mortgage brokers warned that Mr. Scheer’s plan could push housing prices higher, if consumers used their expanded purchasing power to buy more expensive homes. Much like a Liberal announcement earlier in the election campaign, the Conservatives’ housing plan is geared primarily [...]

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