CANSIM

Three Years of Speculation & Vacancy Tax Data

We now have three years of SVT data, time to take a look at where things stand, how this fits in with related datasets, and what we can learn.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TL;DR We now have three years of Speculation and Vacancy Tax data for BC, demonstrating generally less than one percent of properties pay the tax in most municipalities. We play around with the data we scraped from files released by the BC government to show: how the federal CHSP program systematically overstates “foreign ownership” how source of revenue estimates shift depending upon definitions and tax rates how properties are moving into rentals and what else we can glean from exemptions and revenue data.

Acting locally on housing

Housing faces lots of challenges, some of the global. But our policy levers are mostly local, increasing housing supply is the most effective (and ethical) local action we can take.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

8 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) It may be a measure of the issue’s importance that in the midst of a major climate disaster (not to mention COVID, breakdowns in reconciliation, and other ongoing crises), the leader of the BC Green Party, Sonia Furstenau, dropped a new op-ed on housing. Timing aside, we see this as promising. As we’ve noted in comparing platforms going into the last election, the BC Greens could use some better planning on housing policy.

Transnational property ownership in Canada

We talk a lot about people living abroad owning property in Canada, let's take a look at Canadians owning property abroad.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

6 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We know transnational ownership of properties is real. But how should we define it? And how many properties are owned by who where? First to definitions. We’re primarily interested in ownership of dwellings, where we can define ownership of properties in terms of titles and – in the relatively rare case of corporate ownership – in terms of beneficial ownership. Given this start, we can define transnational ownership of properties in at least two ways, the key distinction being how we locate property owners.

Commodity and Keeping it in the Family

A look at non-market transfers of market properties.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR Commodification of housing: what does it mean? Is it a problem? Can we decommodify housing? Can we establish a baseline for often this occurs in property transactions? Here we draw upon a recent Statistics Canada data release and older Census data to walk through some of these questions. Commodification in Property Transactions The commodification of housing has been identified as a problem to be resisted by a wide range of analysts and commentators.

Rethinking the "foreignness" of owners living abroad

Comparing CHSP and SVT data we try to tease out how foreign our forein owners really are.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

10 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR: Combining our two major sources of data on the “foreignness” of property owners suggests at least half of those owning property in high demand parts of BC but living outside of Canada are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. How Foreign Are You? BC housing discussions have often focused on various aspects of “foreignness” – foreign buyers, foreign owners, non-resident owners, foreign capital, home owners with non-anglicized last names, out of province buyers, buyers on 10-year entry program, foreign landlords – the list goes on in bewildering variety, and each category comes with it’s own range of interpretations and definitions.