Mayor Kennedy Stewart pushed forward an amendment to increase Vancouver’s vacancy tax to 3.0% in 2021, triple what it was previously. He hopes that by increasing the tax rate it will push owners of empty homes to either rent them or sell them to feed the local demand.
As many are aware the original motion was put into place in 2016 and became effective in 2017. The main push for this was because there were believed to be a substantial amount of homes purchased for speculation that were sitting empty. On top of that there was a pinch in supply that was pushing not just prices up but also rental prices. What we ended up seeing was increased inventory as many of the owners of these once vacant properties could not justify the tax. It also impacted buyers of secondary properties to reconsider if Vancouver was in fact a place that made sense for their recreational property.
What will this mean for 2021? If this tax does indeed push owners to sell their secondary homes we will likely see an uptick in inventory. I would expect that the higher end of the Downtown condo market to feel this more than any other area. The detached market is extremely busy and a small increase in listings will be absorbed very quickly. If you are interested to learn more on how this will affect you as a buyer or an owner of a vacant home please reach out and we’ll be happy to discuss further with you!