How Trump Tower investors avoid the foreign buyer tax

Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver
Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver

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

The new 15 per cent foreign buyer tax is jeopardising contracts with offshore presale buyers of Trump International Hotel & Tower, scheduled to open this fall. In May, all 214 luxury condominiums had been sold, including $6.4-million sub-penthouses, at an average $1,615 per square foot—a record for a new condo project in Canada. Holborn CEO Joo Kim Tiah Tiah is helping buyers close sales by letting them assign their properties to a Canadian relative for a fee, saying that’s become standard industry practice in order to ensure deals close on time. (The Globe and Mail)

A Trump teardown for $95 million? The most expensive single residential property ever sold in Palm Beach, Fla., once owned by Donald Trump, is being demolished by its new owner, a Russian billionaire. Demolition of the 61,744-square-foot main house, 8,200-square-foot tennis house, pool house and carriage house is underway. The six-acre estate is expected to be subdivided and resold. (The New York Times)

McMansions are an ugly investment. They cost more to build than your average starter ranch home does, and they will sell for more, but the return on investment has dropped. The few areas in which McMansions are gaining value faster than more tasteful housing stock are located primarily in the Midwest and the eastern New York suburbs that make up Long Island. (Bloomberg)

Is Vancouver housing a ticking time bomb? A spike in buying activity and rising values is not enough to label what’s happening in Vancouver a bubble, according to RBC Capital Markets head of Canadian equity strategy Matt Barasch. “This notion that this is a ticking time bomb ready to explode is—quite frankly—it’s silly,” he said after stating that some slowdowns or even a pullback could be possible. (BNN)

Thousands of Hong Kong land leases are set to expire in 2047, along with Beijing’s guarantee for the city’s autonomy. Hong Kong Development Minister Paul Chan is assuring tenants and landlords that the government will work out a “smart” solution similar to the 1997 arrangement when all leases due that year were extended for another 50 years with three per cent of ratable value set as annual government rent. Chan has outlined a vision for the city’s future that is more livable and climate-ready. (South China Morning Post)