Poll finds strong support for foreign home tax

Government waited too long to intervene in white-hot real estate market: survey respondents

A new online poll shows Metro Vancouver residents overwhelmingly approve of the province’s new 15 per cent transfer tax on foreign buyers of local homes, but they have doubts about how effective it will be in cooling the white-hot real estate market.

The Angus Reid Institute poll found 90 per cent of Metro residents support the new tax, which triggered a rush to complete affected deals ahead of the Aug. 2 effective date.

But 71 per cent predicted affected foreign buyers would still find loopholes to dodge the new tax and relatively few said they believe it will be highly effective at bringing down home prices or opening up more housing inventory.

And 82 per cent of those surveyed said the provincial government should have intervened in the housing market sooner. That included 77 per cent of those who voted BC Liberal in 2013.

More than seven out of 10 respondents described the government’s new measures as “a step in the right direction” but only three per cent say they’re enough.

The poll underscores what previous surveys have found: housing prices, affordability and real estate are a dominant issue facing the region.

Angus Reid officials said two-thirds of Metro residents are dissatisfied with the government’s response to the housing crisis, possibly because of its perceived lateness and incompleteness.

Respondents were nearly three times as likely to say the high real estate prices were hurting them as helping them.

Large majorities said the hot market today is a net negative for their local communities and the region as a whole. While 64 per cent would welcome a correction of at least 10 per cent that drops to 42 per cent who would cheer a major crash of 30 per cent or more.

A further 87 per cent would support their local municipality seeking the power to tax vacant homes, as Vancouver council has proposed.

The B.C. government on Thursday passed legislation to create the 15 per cent tax on residential real estate purchases by foreign nationals. For those buyers, it would add $300,000 to the cost of a $2 million home.

The most recent data released by the province shows 10 per cent of homes sold in Metro Vancouver were bought by foreign nationals. If that pace continued, the new tax would generate $1.4 billion in revenue for housing initiatives.

The province has also legislated an end to self-regulation by the real estate industry, and has enabled a tax on vacant properties by the City of Vancouver.

Just Posted

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Most Read