B.C. greenlights Vancouver’s empty homes tax

A weekly roundup of news and views on property development, sales, affordability and more

Vancouver’s empty homes tax is moving ahead. B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong says the provincial government is supporting the City of Vancouver’s request to implement an empty homes tax. The legislature will reconvene on July 25 to introduce legislative changes that are required for the city to implement the tax, along with changes to self-regulation of the real estate industry. The City of Vancouver would like the tax in place by 2017. (CBC)

Occupy movement: In one of several protests over the lack of affordable housing, activists have taken over an apartment building near Metrotown. The occupiers plan to stay in the apartment complex for as long as it takes to get the City of Burnaby to address their demands for an end to the practice of “demovictions,” where renters in older buildings are forced to move out to make room for new condominium towers. (CTV)

Canada’s housing crisis needs less study, more action, says John Bruk, founding chairman of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. He notes that other governments have introduced regulations to maintain affordable housing and recommends emergency measures that the federal, provincial and municipal governments could take. (Globe and Mail)

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. journalists who suggest that racism is underlying some of the public reaction to the supercharged real-estate market tend to have been working in the late 1980s when an anti-Hong Kong backlash reached epic proportions. Millennial writers who didn’t work in the Vancouver media during that period have a different perspective. (Georgia Straight)

Property flipping seminars take their cue from Donald Trump, using the same playbook as his controversial real estate seminar business, says a member of B.C.’s real estate review panel. The first seminar is free, but the goal is to sign you up for a more expensive course. (Vancouver Sun)