Empty Homes

Taxing Toxic Demand: Early Results

Checking in on the Speculation and Vacancy Tax preliminary data.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

9 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The province has released (via press release) the first data on its Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT)! Huzzah! Previously, we’ve speculated on what this data would show. In particular, we estimated that around 8,800 dwellings would show up as empty in a way likely to be taxed by the speculation tax. How close were we? Well, the speculation tax has so far identified 8,738 owners of empty properties.

2001 Census Data (and TongFen)

A quick overview over the 2001 Census data newly imported into CensusMapper, as well as how to compare census data across censuses.

Jens von Bergmann

6 minute read

CensusMapper now has 2001 census data, the changes are live and functional and available for mapping and via the data API. We ran some basic verification of the import, and set the metadata for the variables. There may still be some quirks in need of getting ironed out, feedback is appreciated if anyone finds anything that does not look right. At the same time we finally updated my TongFen package to also include DA level TongFen out of the box, in addition to the CT level that has been working for a while.

Tax Speculations

Estimating what to expect from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

28 minute read

(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.

Taxable Dwelling Density

When density maps mostly just show population density.

Jens von Bergmann

2 minute read

Vancouver pushed out a heatmap of dwelling units that have so far failed to declare their empty homes tax status. With everyone eagerly awaiting data on the empty homes tax declaration we wonder what can be learned from the map. Turns out not much, the city did not normalize by the number of dwelling units subject to the tax. So to first order, this is just a heatmap of where people live, which xkcd coined pet peeve #208.

Empty Suites

What we have learned from the "Supply Myth" debate.

Jens von Bergmann

14 minute read

One of the constructive outcome of the “Supply Myth” discussion was the spotlight it shone on secondary suites. While we have already touched on this topic, it is wroth to fully flesh this out. With the perpetual empty home discussion in Vancouver one would have thought that the numbers by structural type of dwelling would have percolated through to the empty home hive mind. According to the 2011 census, which structural type of dwelling had the highest rate of unoccupied dwelling units in Metro Vancouver?