On February 20th, 2018, the BC NDP announced its long-awaited 30 point housing plan for its first full budget.
Finance Minister Carole James said that the NDP’s “intent is to bring stability to housing prices with these changes and have revenues to invest in building affordable housing.” The plan included many bold new measures to “return the real estate market to one that serves local residents, rather than speculators.”
Some of the highlights of the report include:
- An increase to the foreign buyer tax from 15% to 20%.
- An expansion of the foreign buyer tax to areas outside of Vancouver, such as the Fraser Valley, Central Okanagan, the Nanaimo Regional District and the Victoria Area.
- For properties over $3 Million, there will be an increase in property transfer tax from three to five percent plus an increase to the school tax rate for these homes.
- The province will invest $6 Billion in building 114,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.
- There will be a speculation tax introduced this Fall targeting foreign and domestic speculators who are not paying income tax in BC, including homeowners who leave their homes vacant. This measure will also impact “satellite families” or those households that have high foreign incomes and pay small amounts of provincial tax. This new tax will apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, and Kelowna and West Kelowna.
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- Building an extensive database of individuals reassigning presale condos that will be shared with tax authorities in an effort to prevent speculators and assignment flippers from skirting tax laws.
- Integrating online accommodation providers, such as Airbnb, into our rental market by allowing them to apply an 8% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and up to 3% Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT).
- Reviewing the Homeowner Grant and creating a similar grant for renters.
- Moving to close property tax loopholes on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to ensure the lands are used for farming and not for speculation and mega-mansions.
For more information on the complete 30 point plan for housing affordability in BC, see below.
We had many of our guests from early this year guess what the BC NDP had in store for housing. Who got it right? Who got it wrong? Who had better ideas for policy changes?
We will be discussing the the new plan for housing affordability on this week’s podcast, but we want your thoughts! Comment below…