But NDP say legislation will result in property price hike on Vancouver Island
The province announced new measures today aimed at tackling Greater Vancouver’s hot real estate market.
New legislation adds an additional 15 percent tax on residential property bought by foreign investors.
The premier says the goal is to ensure housing is affordable for all British Columbians.
But the NDP says it’s only going to drive up the price of housing on Vancouver Island.
Mary Griffin reports.
As promised, Finance Minister introduced the bill Monday morning in the legislature.
“I’m pleased to introduce the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2016.
It amends four statues”
That legislation targets Vancouver’s red hot real estate market.
And it will tax foreign buyers of residential property an extra 15 percent.
Premier Christy Clark says the bill should reduce housing demand, and prices.
“This will have, I hope, the impact of making sure, we reduce the amount of the number of foreign buyers in our market in the Greater Vancouver area.”
The government says the additional tax would add up to $300,000 on a $2 million home if bought by a foreign investor.
“That is part of the action to make sure that the dream of home ownership remains within the reach of the middle class in British Columbia.
We want to put British Columbian’s first, and this part of making sure we do that.”
But the NDP are not buying it.
“Just two months ago, there was no crisis.
Just two months ago, there was a modest problem in the real estate market.
But that was the envy of the world according to finance minister.
What a difference a couple of months make.”
The NDP Housing Critic David Eby says the legislation is not only ineffective, but will hurt the island.
“At best if it works as intended, it’ll drive a lot of investment to Victoria and the Capital Regional District.
And in addition, it will hold the vancouver market where it is, where it’s already twice as expensive when you consider incomes as Toronto is.”
Housing prices are already up 20 percent over last year in Greater Victoria and many other areas of the island.
New home construction is at a 25 year high according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Finance Minister de Jong says the government will watch closely what happens here.
“The area of coverage: you will also see in the legislation, folks, it is applied to the Greater Vancouver Regional District, there is a mechanism by which the government
could expand that.”