The BC govt released its budget for 2018:

A few of the housing initiatives include:

  • Speculators tax on those not paying taxes in BC and units sitting empty
  • Increasing the Foreign Buyers’ tax from 15% to 20% and expanding to Greater Victoria
  • Increasing PTT on homes over $3 million
  • $6.6 billion in social housing over 10 years
  • $1.1 billion in seismic upgrades, improvements to social housing
  • Provincial property tax breaks for rental projects
  • Enabling municipalities to direct tax revenue to housing initiatives

Still no reno tax credit for homeowners to address asbestos, seismic concerns and energy efficiency.   

No proper regional planning in Greater Victoria with 13 municipalities creating 13 different community plans.

Synopsis: Very little here for market housing affordability. Increased taxes & housing is used as source of revenue for government programs.

Property Transfer Tax will continue to generate more than $2 billion annually, as much as BC’ s resource industries combined.

The govt continues to use foreign buyers (4% of market in Victoria) as scapegoats for high housing prices, not the real causes – demand by a new large generation of young families, low interest rates and obstructive municipal land policies caused by a lack of regional planning & responsible governance.     

This budget represents the continued failure of successive BC govt’s to understand market housing affordability and address the real issues.

The greatest potential impact on market housing wasn’t mentioned in the Budget – the government’s Step Code which will raise costs while offering little benefit.   

A copy of the Budget’s housing document is here.