Housing Affordability
Government Relations » Housing Affordability
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BCREA’s Position on Housing Affordability

The residential real estate market is a continuum, with social housing on one end and luxury housing on the other. Rental housing and market housing affordability are important components that help keep the continuum operating smoothly, ensuring appropriate housing options for all and matching supply with demand.

BCREA recommends that governments:
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    1. Ensure the Property Transfer Tax accurately reflects the dynamic nature of the real estate market

    2. Provide direct assistance to homebuyers, homeowners and renters (recommendations for the federal government)

    3. Make evidence-based policy decisions

    4. Encourage greater density in urban areas

    5. Promote best practices among local governments

    6. Ensure the Residential Tenancy Act is effective and balances the rights of landlords and tenants.

    Government action

    • In Budget 2018/2019 the government announced several initiatives related to housing, which include: 
      • Increasing the Property Transfer Tax rate from 3% to 5% for the portion of a property's fair market value above $3 million. 
      • Increasing the tax rate and expanding the geographic scope of the Foreign Buyer's Tax.
      • Introducing a speculation tax on qualifying residential properties in BC.
      • Increasing the province school tax on most residential properties in excess of $3 million beginning in 2019.
      • Enabling online accommodation platforms to collect and remit the Provincial Sales Tax and Municipal and Regional District Tax.
      • Requiring developers to collect and report comprehensive information about the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases.
      • Creating clarity around property ownership.
      • Reviewing the Homeowner Grant program.
      • Investing $6 billion in affordable housing, delivering 114,000 homes over the next 10 years. 
      • Increasing funding to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
        More information
    • In its February 2018 Throne Speech, the government focused on affordability, with housing as a key theme. Promised actions include:
      • New measures to address the effect of speculation on real estate prices.
      • New legislation to crack down on tax fraud and money laundering in the real estate market.
      • Supporting construction of new housing.
      • Working with local governments to zone areas for affordable housing, and to build housing near transit corridors.
      • Promising to consider future measures to make renting more affordable.
      • Investing in retrofitting and renovating existing homes.
        More information.


    From BCREA

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