The BC Legislature is re-convening for a summer session to deal with the issue of real estate prices and affordability in the province. They plan to enact some additional changes on top of those previously announced in the budget, including an additional 15% tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate in Greater Vancouver.
But will a 15% tax be enough to deter some of these ultra wealthy investors who often outbid locals by offering 15% over the asking price?
And how about the Quebec Immigrant Investment program that sees wealthy applicants accepted by Quebec’s immigration system, but then settling in British Columbia instead, putting stress on hard-working taxpayers.
Then there are buyers who may be legitimate dual citizens, but are buying here, then paying the majority of their taxes elsewhere.
Some say the number one issue isn’t foreign money and illegality, it is supply. Those people have a point. We have to be prepared to start building at market prices instead of just approving high end luxury towers and mansions for the ultra wealthy.
While I think today is a good start, the pressure is now on and the market is now far beyond reach for the vast majority of British Columbians, so something has to be done to try to stabilize prices.