Whatever happened to the “speculation tax”? (Mainlander, T. Markle, 15-May-2011)

(Tristan Markle, The Mainlander, 15-May-2011). This week, Taiwan implemented a “luxury tax” on housing properties lying dormant due to speculation (as reported by the BBC). This begs the question: why not take action in Vancouver, where the affordability crisis is similarly severe? During his 2008 campaign, Gregor Robertson proposed such a “empty condo tax” to get more housing onto the market and cool-down prices… Full article is here.  Bullet points are below.

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Frothy Vancouver housing market fueled by money from China (Vanc. Sun, 1-Jun-2011)

“Chinese are parking money in Canadian land like a bank”
(Allan Dowd, Reuters, 1-Jun-2011). Full article is here. As Vancouver discusses many critical issues relating to housing (homelessness, affordability, density, etc…. for example, see Talk Housing With Us), everyone should be asking anew what are the major factors that affect housing affordability TODAY in our city. Does foreign involvement in Vancouver real estate affect housing affordability, and what would wise policy makers do about it? What are good examples from other cities and countries to deal with the impacts of speculation and foreign investment? Bullet points of the article are below.