Speculation tax spooks B.C. Builders
August 13, 2018
British Columbia’s speculation tax on secondary homes is threatening the new home market and the provincial economy, according to Neil Moody, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, British Columbia.
“The tax, from the perspective of home builders, is hitting both tourism and non-tourism areas, both inside and outside the boundaries of its targeted jurisdictions. Canadian Home Builders’ Association, British Columbia has heard countless stories in recent months about cancelled contracts and lost jobs in Kelowna, Golden, Cranbrook, Vernon and more, as people choose to play it safe amid much uncertainty,” Moody wrote in a recent comment.
Moody cited one Alberta family that was planning on retiring in B.C. in the next 10 years and wanted to transition slowly with a second family home in Kelowna, to build roots, before making the eventual move.
“That contract has been cancelled, and the family’s plans are now on hold, as they grapple to understand the implication of the tax.”
Moody noted that an estimated 199,249 jobs were created or maintained in the province in 2017 due to new housing starts, renovations and repairs, up from 190,971 in 2016. On- and off-site jobs in this industry accounted for an estimated $11.9 billion in wages, up from $11.2 billion in 2016. The estimated value of construction work put in place by new-home builders and renovators increased to $25 billion in 2017, from $23.3 billion a year earlier.
“That’s no chump change,” Moody said, adding, ”All Canadians should be concerned with this speculation tax, as it is a threat to any out-of-province citizen who aspires to own a home in B.C.”