The association announced its ‘pillars,’ which focus on housing affordability across the province.
“For us we don’t look at housing and housing affordability from a singular (viewpoint) like Vancouver,” Robert Laing, BCREA CEO, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I think that’s one of the weaknesses that you see in the government focusing on Vancouver or Toronto; we are concerned about the entire province. What we’re trying to encourage the government to do is look for efficiencies, try to be consistent across the province, and apply the rules using economic sense.”
The British Columbia Real Estate Association announced what it refers to as its five pillars, and it will be sharing its recommendations with the provincial government.
BCREA's five pillars include timely recommendations to:
• assist consumers with housing costs,
• encourage the creation of more rental housing,
• densify urban areas,
• adjust the Property Transfer Tax, and
• promote best practices among local governments
The province is currently in election season, and housing affordability is, unsurprisingly, on the minds of both politicians and citizens.
One of the major recommendations is for the government to overhaul its property land tax structure, which is currently the highest in Canada.
“If you’re, obviously, in the large urban area, you pay more because your house is worth more. But we’re saying let’s tie that tax to the cost of living. To keep it from becoming this enormous payment to payment to people and that would apply: A house outside the lower mainland, the average house is around $688,000. The current property transfer tax amounts to almost $12,000 on there. If you’re in Vancouver, the average house is close to $1 million, it’s $17,000,” Laing said. “Just by tying the tax to the cost of living and the consumer price index, you wouldn’t see such a huge increase in that tax just because your house price has gone up.”
The recommendations are supported by the Canadian Home Builders' Association of BC.
"Many of the BCREA proposals on market housing affordability are shared priorities and goals of CHBA BC," sNeil Moody, CEO of the CHBA BC. "These actions on supply and building costs help industry deliver a more affordable product for homebuyers, provide more choice for buying or renting, and decrease extra costs for buyers like the Property Transfer Tax."