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Old Posted Nov 10, 2020, 5:31 PM
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someone123 someone123 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 27,222
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Well, it's unlikely that a "speculative" purchase sits empty. Unless it was purchased to be redeveloped, it remains part of the supply of housing stock and would be expected to be offered on the rental market at whatever rental price the market would support.
Around here we have an "empty homes" tax. If you own property that is not your primary residence, you need to prove that somebody is living there.

As far as I can tell the tax made little difference and the % of homes sitting empty was probably pretty low. The cap rates on most condos are quite poor and speculators who buy them to let them sit empty will lose money quickly. Now we all have to fill out extra paperwork and if it's screwed up there's a potential for a huge bill that needs to be corrected. I am not sure why most need to fill in these forms and give them to the province when we also give them our provincial income tax return with our address on it but that's how it works. I wonder if it brings in more than the administration costs. Those who do really want an empty home can pretty easily arrange for family members to live separately on paper, occupying multiple large mansions worth millions if they wish.

Halifax specifically also has a large proportion of rental building construction. These are built to be rented out. The operators do not want them to sit empty. So I think this whole line of reasoning is pretty suspect. The bulk of the more affordable housing supply will be older market-rate rental buildings or large-scale housing projects.
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