Home ownership – BC legislative committee listens to and quotes REBGV
The BC legislative committee directly quoted the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV’s) affordability recommendations five times in their August 3 budget report.
These quotes cited REBGV’s three recommendations on how to clear a path to home ownership submitted on May 30 during a BC legislative committee consultation on how to spend the BC Budget 2024.
The three recommendations included:
1. The Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
- Conduct a comprehensive review of PTT, which hasn’t been done since the tax was implemented in 1987.
- Remove the PTT on any home costing less than $750,000 – for both new and resale homes.
- ncrease the First-Time Home Buyers’ Program PTT exemption threshold on resale homes to $750,000 from $525,000 to match the newly-built homes exemption.
- Exempt presales from the PTT.
- Index PTT thresholds using the consumer price index, and make adjustments annually for the 2% and 3% thresholds on a sliding scale tied to BC Assessment values.
- Use PTT revenue from homes priced at more than $750,000 to provide financial incentives to renters buying missing middle homes in walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities with smaller housing choices.
2. The proposed flipping tax
- Include exemptions so the tax doesn’t unfairly penalize those most likely to move.
- Ensure new construction homes are exempted from the tax.
- Ensure the tax doesn’t discourage investment in secondary suites that may be created under the province’s new secondary suite policy.
3. Increase rental supply
- Provide a GST exemption for not-for-profit rentals: the province should try to convince the federal government to exempt new not-for-profit rental developments from paying GST.
- Create a provincial rebate program for the GST payable on new rental construction. Rebate funding could come through interest payments made to the province from programs such as HousingHub including the Affordable Home Ownership program (AHOP) and the PTT.
- Provide ultra-Low-Cost loans to developers: use funds from existing revenue streams including the PTT and BC Housing revenue streams, to provide ultra-low-cost loans to developers building rental buildings.
The Legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services annually tours the province to hear ideas, suggestions, and recommendations on how to spend the BC budget from individuals, organizations, and businesses.
This year the committee received requests to present from over 480 organizations and individuals and was able to accommodate 375 presentations, 387 written submissions, and several hundred emails.
Legislative committee quotes REBGV
With respect to homeownership, Members recommend reviewing the First Time Home Buyers program’s property transfer tax (PTT) exemption threshold to better reflect current market conditions.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver explained that with a near-zero percent vacancy rate, communities are desperately in need of new purpose-built rental buildings while noting that such projects are financially difficult.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver recommended that the first-time homebuyers program PTT exemption be increased especially for resale homes.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver also recommended that the PTT revenue from homes priced at more than $750,000 be used to fund financial incentives to renters buying missing middle homes.
Similarly, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver recommended including exemptions to avoid penalizing those most likely to move, as well as exempting new home construction to ensure it does not discourage investment in secondary suites.
Read the Report on the Budget 2024 Consultation. (Opens 118-page pdf.)
Read REBGV’s submission. (Opens 3-page pdf.)