(Joint with Jens von Bergmann and cross-posted at Mountainmath)
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.
I started this blog back in January of 2016, which makes five years ago this month. So obviously it’s time for an anniversary post!
Last week, the BC Government dropped a press release linking to 2019’s data from the NDP’s Speculation & Vacancy Tax (SVT), leaving us with two years of data (!) and including a brief analysis of what happened to properties taxed in 2018! Maybe you didn’t notice? It was a busy week. I’ve been looking through the data and comparing across releases, and here are my big takeaways so far:
- Overall, tax liability remains very rare (< 1%), and seems to be getting more so
- The 2019 Technical Report revises some of the 2018 taxpaying figures, generally downward
- The SVT may have added some rental in 2019, but probably not as much as claimed
- Best guess: probably because we never had much “toxic demand” to begin with…
- There’s some hint the SVT might have promoted divorce a bit & probably also migration
- Some errors and lapses in SVT reporting make interpreting the data harder than it should be!
Updating my mini–series on flights and exposures through YVR airport in Vancouver. No particular reason…
Joint with Jens von Bergmann and cross-posted at mountainmath
Empty Homes Taxes are back in the news!
In a very short time period, we’ve got Vancouver raising its Empty Homes Tax rate from 1% to 3%, based in part on a report from CMHC about a sharp rise in condos on the rental market, we’ve got Toronto eyeing its own Empty Homes Tax, and now reports suggest that even Ottawa is considering getting in on the game.
What will happen when the Pandemic ends?
Will pre-Pandemic patterns, like people moving to Vancouver, go back to normal? Or will small towns, far-flung suburbs, and rural areas see a boost at the expense of cities, reflecting perhaps a new aversion to density and/or embrace of the rise in telecommuting acceptability? (we’ve seen such speculation in certain corners of City Hall).
Or indeed, might we see the opposite? Will people flock to cities like Vancouver as we return to mobility (including newly amped up immigration along with outreach to Hong Kong) and enjoyment of all the urban pleasures we’ve given up during the pandemic?
It’s election time in BC! And housing is back on the agenda, even if not quite as centrally as in past elections. Here I want to provide a quick basis for comparing each party platform, adding in a short bit of my own analysis. My quick take is that when it comes to housing there are things to like in each platform, and I hope the parties work together to keep housing on the agenda!
A couple of months ago I took the blog for a visit to the airport to check out historical passenger data and see what’s happened since COVID. Today I want to return, both to provide an update and to pull YVR Passenger data (enplaned & deplaned pdf) together with BC CDC Flight Exposure data (full pdf), providing a check on air travel’s contributions to spreading COVID.
We now have over six months of pandemic conditions in Vancouver and crime data to (roughly) match. We also have all kinds of claims about crime flying around, sometimes pushed by the police (VPD) themselves, only heightened by click-seeking reporters and the vote-seeking politicians. So we should probably check into the data. Long story short: there’s scant evidence of a crime wave showing up in the VPD crime data.
People move. That includes people who end up getting counted as homeless. How should we interpret what homeless counts tell us about these people?
To an important extent, this question brings us back to fundamental interpretations of who gets counted. Is being counted as “homeless” interpreted as a social problem: the lack of enough accessible housing? Or is it being interpreted as a person problem: identifying the “homeless” as fundamentally different from housed people?