DonLever Posted May 23, 2015 Share Posted May 23, 2015 from Global News: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling for a new tax on real estate speculators to cool the city’s white-hot real estate market. Debate has been raging over the impact of foreign investment on Metro Vancouver house prices. Robertson says speculators are to blame, forcing young people and the middle class out of the city. He says he’s asked Premier Christy Clark to impose a speculation tax to increase affordability. “We definitely need taxation tools that discourage speculation on real estate,” said Robertson in a statement. “It’s clear that rampant speculation on real estate is driving up prices in Vancouver. Vancouver needs the B.C. government to take action on creating a speculation tax and recognize that we need a fair and level playing field to make housing more affordable for residents in Vancouver, and throughout the province.” The province has not ruled out the idea of a speculation tax, but says changes must be weighed carefully and not destroy the equity owners have in their homes. “By trying to move foreign buyers out of the market, housing prices overall will drop,” said Clark in the legislature earlier this month. “That’s good for first-time home buyers but not for anybody who is depending on the equity in their home to maybe get a loan or use that to finance some other projects.” Robertson says Ottawa also needs to step in. “Limiting speculation is an important action for the B.C. government but we absolutely need the federal government involved in affordable housing,” said Robertson. “Their complete absence in supporting low- and middle-income housing is making it extremely difficult for people, especially young people, to live and work in Vancouver.” From the Province: Hundreds gathered in downtown Vancouver on Sunday, calling on government to address increasing housing unaffordability in the city. The rally, which drew politicians, academics, housing representatives and citizens to the Vancouver Art Gallery, had its roots with a Vancouver woman who took to social media to vent her frustration. Eveline Xia, the rally’s organizer, wrote out her first-ever Tweet in March, kicking off a conversation about affordability and starting the hashtag, “#donthave1million.” Xia, 29, heard from other professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s — including engineers, accountants and medical professionals — who felt that without an extra $1 million lying around, they were bound to be priced-out of Vancouver. The hashtag, for which the rally was named, picked up buzz on social and traditional media, and Xia unexpectedly found herself as a sort of spokeswoman for what’s become a top concern for her generation. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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