The city of Vancouver passed a tax on vacant homes. This is one of a number of initiatives different levels of government are implementing to help ease the current housing challenges in the City. The summary below was taken from the City of Vancouver Website and offers some basic facts about the new tax. It is not meant to be exhaustive. For a complete view please visit http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax.aspx
Homes that are deemed empty will be subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value. Most homes will not be subject to the tax, as it does not apply to principal residences or homes rented on a long-term basis. The Empty Homes Tax will come into effect in January 2017, but it will not be assessed and payable until 2018.
The purpose of the Empty Homes Tax is to:
- • Return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver.
- • Help relieve pressure on Vancouver’s rental housing market by making more homes available for rent as our city is facing a rental housing crisis, with the lowest rental vacancy rate and highest rental costs in Canada.
Will Your Home Be Taxed?
All owners of residential property in Vancouver will be required to make a property status declaration, which will determine if they are affected by the Empty Homes Tax. Most properties will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, including those:
- • Being used as a principal residence by the owner or his/her family member.
- • Rented for a total of 180 days of the year, in periods of at least 30 consecutive days.
- • Meeting the criteria for one of the permissible exemptions listed below.
What is a Principal Residence?
A principal residence is defined as: “… the usual place where an individual lives, makes his or her home and conducts his or her daily affairs, including, without limitation, paying bills and receiving mail, and is generally the residential address used on documentation related to billing, identification, taxation and insurance purposes, including, without limitation, income tax returns, Medical Services Plan documentation, driver’s licenses, personal identification, vehicle registration and utility bills.”
For your property to be eligible for an exemption, you must submit supporting evidence at the time of your property status declaration.
- • Your home is being used for a minimum of six months of the year for work purposes within the City of Vancouver, but you claim your principal residence elsewhere.
- • You or your tenant is receiving long-term, in-patient medical or supportive care.
- • The owner is deceased and a grant of probate or administration is pending.
- • The ownership of the property changed during the year.
- • The property is undergoing major renovations, or is under construction or redevelopment and permits have been issued.
- • The property was subject to strata rental restrictions as of November 16, 2016.
- • The property is under a court order prohibiting occupancy.
- • The property’s use is limited to vehicle parking, or the shape, size, or other aspect of the property precludes the ability to construct a residential building.
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VANCOUVER, BC – April 4, 2017 – A shortage of residential property listings coupled with strong demand, particularly for condos and townhomes, continued to impact Metro Vancouver’s housing market in March.
Residential property sales in the region totalled 3,579 in March 2017, a decrease of 30.8 percent from the 5,173 sales recorded in record-breaking March 2016 and an increase of 47.6 percent compared to February 2017 when 2,425 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were 7.9 percent above the 10-year sales average for the month.
“While demand in March was below the record high of last year, we saw demand increase month-to-month for condos and townhomes,” Jill Oudil, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Sellers still seem reluctant to put their homes on the market, making for stiff competition among home buyers.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,762 in March 2017. This represents a decrease of 24.1 percent compared to the 6,278 units listed in March 2016 and a 29.9 percent increase compared to February 2017 when 3,666 properties were listed.
This is the lowest number of new listings in March since 2009.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,586, a 3.1 percent increase compared to March 2016 (7,358) and a 0.1 percent decrease compared to February 2017 (7,594).
The sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2017 is 47.2 percent, a 15-point increase over February. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 percent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 percent over several months.
“Home prices will likely continue to increase until we see more housing supply coming on to the market,” Oudil said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $919,300. This represents a 0.8 percent decrease over the past six months and a 1.4 percent increase compared to February 2017.
Sales of detached properties in March 2017 reached 1,150, a decrease of 46.1 percent from the 2,135 detached sales recorded in March 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,489,400. This represents a 5.0 percent decrease over the past six months and a one percent increase compared to February 2017.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,841 in March 2017, a decrease of 18.3 percent compared to the 2,252 sales in March 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $537,400. This represents a 5.2 percent increase over the past six months and a 2.1 percent increase compared to February 2017.
Attached property sales in March 2017 totalled 588, a decrease of 25.2 percent compared to the 786 sales in March 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $685,100. This represents a 1.3 percent increase over the past six months and a 1.4 percent increase compared to February 2017.
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