Falcon defends 1% with vacant second properties

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BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon is doubling down against the BC NDP’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax just as new data from Statistics Canada shows more evidence it’s working.  

Falcon said the tax was unfair for people with multiple vacant homes:

“Two thirds of the speculation tax is paid for by British Columbians. These are not speculators. These are people that have a second property and they’re being forced to pay, you know, an additional cost.” (Video)

The Speculation and Vacancy Tax is paid by fewer than 1% of British Columbians – people who own multiple homes and leave them vacant in the regions hardest hit by the housing crisis. 

StatCan reported this week that the Speculation and Vacancy Tax and other measures increased the number of first time buyers and decreased the number of repeat buyers. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of first time homebuyers increased by 5.6%, while purchases by buyers who already own or owned property decreased by 10.1%. 

StatCan noted: “The decrease in the number of repeat buyers in British Columbia came in the wake of provincial legislation implemented to cool the real estate market, which may have dissuaded existing owners from moving or from investing in further properties… these included higher taxes on properties valued above $3 million, a new speculation and vacancy tax, and an increase and expansion of the foreign buyer tax.”

The CMHC previously reported that the Speculation Tax has helped bring 18,000 previously vacant condos into Metro Vancouver’s rental market.