There’s no denying that spyglass condopresidence is one of the hottest properties in the city, but the latest news from the neighbourhood suggests that there’s a whole lot more to it than meets the eye.
The news is that some of the most expensive condo properties in downtown Vancouver are owned by a group of condo owners who, thanks to a clever combination of clever marketing and a clever little loophole, have been able to dodge the city’s condo tax for years.
Now, the condominium industry is trying to fight back against this unfair tax, and a new campaign has started calling on condo owners to pay more taxes, rather than simply ignore it.
But it turns out that this loophole was already a thing in the real estate industry before it was used to avoid taxes for the condo owners.
There’s a lot of speculation that condo tax avoidance is an emerging trend, but for now it seems that condo owners in the Downtown Eastside aren’t interested in taking the bait.
Vancouver’s condo industry has been growing steadily in recent years, thanks in part to the popularity of condos in major urban centres.
According to a report by the Real Estate Institute of B.C., the number of condominium units in the region has increased by more than 30 per cent over the past 10 years, which means condos are now the second-most-popular type of housing in the entire region.
However, it’s worth pointing out that, as of this writing, there are only three condo tax-free units in Vancouver, and that the city still has a lot more than 100,000 condominium buildings, making it the most unaffordable housing market in Canada.
“Vancouver is becoming unaffordable,” says Julie Burchill, president of the Vancouver Real Estate Association.
Burchill says she’s working with the condo industry to lobby the city for an overhaul of the citys tax structure.
We want to ensure that we can continue to have an affordable housing system in the future, she says.
She says that the province’s latest tax reform is a good start, but it’s just not enough.
As Burchills comments show, this tax has a whole host of loopholes that condo developers are now exploiting, and she is calling on the city to close those loopholes.
I think the city should just make it very clear to the developer that they are not allowed to take advantage of the loophole.
They are not going to be able to use it to avoid paying taxes,” she says, noting that she’s seen this particular loophole used in a condo development in South Kitsilano.
A spokesperson for the city said the city has been working on the condo tax reform since late 2017, and will be announcing new measures to address the loophole on Monday.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the condo lobby’s efforts to get the condo-tax loophole closed, the city can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @cityofvancouver