After tentatively approving the tax at earlier committee meeting, council ultimately rejects it
Victoria will not go ahead with a foreign buyers tax after all, even though the tax was given a tentative green light at an earlier committee meeting.
The earlier successful vote — made with council sitting as a committee of the whole — passed five to three.
But during a council meeting on Thursday April 27, councillors voted four to four (Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe didn’t vote due to conflict of interest).
The tie nullified the proposal.
If it had passed at this council meeting, Victoria would have asked the province to impose the 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in the city.
Similar taxes have been imposed in Vancouver and Toronto as a measure to cool those real estate markets.
Victoria is facing a housing affordability crisis, but Mike Nugent from Victoria’s Real Estate Board — who spoke against the tax at the council meeting — said a foreign buyers tax wouldn’t help.
“The risk of implementing the tax may be greater than its potential desired outcome,” he said.
“The ongoing effect is the high end market in Vancouver taking a hit … The implementation of the tax did nothing to improve affordability of the portion of the market that really needed it.”
At the meeting, Councillor Margaret Lucas — who voted against the motion — said there are a number of other measures that can help alleviate housing costs like increasing housing supply by increasing garden suites and secondary suites.
“I don’t think that this [tax] will do anything in the City of Victoria to stop escalating prices,” she said. “We need to get more supply in our city.”
A total of 675 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 12.6 per cent fewer than the 772 properties sold in February last year.
“Last month we discussed how 2017 won’t match 2016 in terms of huge sales numbers, due to many factors including the present lack of inventory,” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian. “In spite of the low inventory the real estate market in Victoria is robust. The ten year average for sales in February is 542, so we are well within expected numbers for this time of the year with 675 properties sold. In fact, this February’s sales are the second highest in the past ten years. It is also possible that our market may have been restrained over the course of the month due to something that is completely normal in many Canadian markets – the snow fall in the Victoria area certainly cancelled many open houses and may have put a damper on sales.”
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2016 was $638,700. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2017 has increased by 21.3 per cent to $775,000.
Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.
“The low number of homes for sale in our marketplace can put pressure on pricing,” adds President Balabanian. “The good news is we have seen an increase in new listings this month over January. January saw 753 new listings, while February’s count was 880. This time last year there were 1,160 new listings, so we’ll be watching the numbers in March closely to see if more sellers decide to get into the market as spring arrives.”
Source: Victoria Real Estate Board
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Victoria Festival of Trees
November 16, 2016 – January 3, 2017 at The Bay Centre and The Fairmont Empress
Each year, the festival brings together the generous community of Victoria in what has become, over the last two decades, a cherished holiday tradition and the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in the city.
Event sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals decorate trees in a creative and beautiful fashion. The festival invites visitors to browse through the holiday displays and donate to vote for their favourite trees.
This year is shaping up to be our best yet as we “branch” out across the city! For the first time ever we have two festival locations to enjoy: 65 trees at The Bay Centre during regular shopping hours and, 20 trees at The Fairmont Empress, open to viewing daily until 11 p.m.
How Does the Festival of Trees Help local Kids?
All funds raised through the 2016 Festival of Trees will support the Excellence in Child Health Fund, which supports important programs and services provided by BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. Your contribution will support the areas of greatest need in each of these facilities, including specialized research into childhood diseases, the purchase of and/or upgrading to state-of-the-art medical equipment, and education programs for caregivers and families.
Join us in giving our children the best chance of a healthy future.
Thank you, Victoria. I am so pleased to once again be listed in Royal LePage’s Top 25 Producers for November 2016. I will continue to work hard, connecting clients to their perfect property. If you are buying or selling your home in Victoria, BC, or relocating with your job or the military, please call me. I would love to help you realize your real estate dreams. CALL ME 250-812-4209 or EMAIL ME via the contact page.
The Langham Court Theatre here in Victoria presented their opening night last night for the play, Escape from Happiness. As a neighbor to the theatre and ongoing sponsor, I hosted a gathering for friends, family, fellow real estate agents, clients and theatre attendees at my home, The Laurels – built in 1876 with the theatre as the carriage house. It was a lovely soirée to set the mood for the evening of fantastic theatre in a historic building. Delicious canapés were catered by The London Chef, a local company run by innovative chef, Dan Hayes.
I thank everyone who attended our pre-theatre event as it was a great introduction to many new friendly faces and residents of the area as well as travellers. As the mingling came to an end and we walked next door to The Langham Court Theatre, there was a full audience ready to enjoy the opening show.
An applause to the talented and enthusiastic cast that portrayed roles of a family in the east end of Toronto with major differences and hardships showcased in a humourous way despite the dysfunction. A great play of Canadian humour with bizarre situations that kept the audience engaged and giggling from beginning to end.
With the Langham Theatre here in Victoria as my neighbour, I have continued to show support through my fundraising program and build upon the historic friendship of my home The Laurels and The Langham Court Theatre. As a patron of the theatre and the arts, I have created a unique program that provides a fundraising opportunity to the theatre. For each referral from The Langham Court Theatre that results in a completed real estate sale, I will donate 25% of my commission back to the theatre.
The day you turn that key and move into your very first home is a moment in time that you never forget. It is a culmination of working hard, saving money, and the realization of a dream…
From the article published in atHOME Victoria magazine.
- Proudly Sponsoring the BC Children’s Hospital – Festival of Trees Victoria
- SOLD – 1009 Sandalwood Crt – V9C 0E1- La Happy Valley, Langford
- SOLD – 980 Wilmer St – V8S 4B7 – Fairfield East Victoria
- SOLD – 980 Wilmer St – V8S 4B7 – Fairfield East Victoria
- SOLD – 118-1009 McKenzie Ave V8Z 1B2 – SE Quadra