(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) BC has introduced the Speculation and Vacancy Tax and instructions for filling out the declarations are in the mail. The tax targets homes in major urban centres that are left empty, or that are owned by “foreign and domestic speculators” that “don’t pay [income] taxes” in BC. The tax rate is 0.5% of the assessed value in 2018. From 2019 onward rates increase to 2% for foreigners (not permanent residents nor Canadian citizens) as well as citizens or permanent residents that are deemed members of “satellite families.
Disclaimer Apologies up front, this is a bit of a hodge podge of a blog post. I have about half a dozen stubs on rental data and affordability that I looked at at some point while trying to understand some aspect of rental affordability. But it’s a large and complex topic, and I never took the time to distill out coherent storylines. Rather than keep pushing things off I decided to grab a couple of relevant pieces and put them together in a short blog post.
A couple of days ago the New York Times published an opinion documenting several aspects of how US Millenials are getting fleeced. Generation Squeeze has been doing a good job of highlighting what has changed for millennials compared to people their age in the past. The NYT article had some interesting data, and two charts in particular drew my interest, the change in median income by age group and the change in median net worth.
High-value homes frequently make the news in Vancouver, most recently in the wake of the extra school tax for homes valued over $3M. The province will have looked at the data before introducing the legislation, but none of this seems to have filtered out to the general public. So maybe there is a need to take a closer look using Census data. The census is a couple of years old now, and things have changed a bit since then.
Today the new CMHC Rental Market Survey data came out, which is a good opportunity to refine my musings on the rental vacancy rate and rent increases. I view this as the renter version of the relationship between months of inventory and changes in resale prices in the for sale market. CMHC surveys purpose-built (market) rental apartments every October and reports on a variety of metrics, including statistics about the total stock, median and average rents, vacancy rates, and fixed-sample average rent change among others.