British Columbia

Vancouver empty homes tax will triple to 3% starting in 2021

The tax came into effect in 2018 with the aim of motivating owners of empty and under-utilized properties to put them into the rental market. 

Owners are taxed on the assessed value of a home that isn't a principal residence or isn't rented out

The City of Vancouver says the tax has helped reduce the number of empty homes in the city by 25 per cent.  (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Vancouver's empty homes tax is going up from one per cent to three per cent starting in 2021.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart said tripling the tax will help make more housing available to long-term tenants.

"We're sending an even stronger message that homes are for people, not speculation," he said in a release.

Vancouver's empty homes tax came into effect in 2018 amid a housing crisis and low vacancy rates, with the aim of motivating owners of empty and under-utilized properties to put them onto the rental market. 

Owners are taxed based on the assessed value of a home that isn't their principal residence or isn't rented out for at least six months of the year.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the tax, combined with other market forces, helped push 5,000 condominiums to the rental market in 2019, including 3,000 in downtown Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver says since its inception, the tax has helped reduce the number of empty homes in the city by 25 per cent. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now