Vancouver Rental Market Eases With 7% Increase in Tenanted Properties

Steve Saretsky -

The city of Vancouver released a report updating the results for the empty homes tax. Per the report, the city generated $39.4 million in revenue during the 2018 tax year. The tax captured 1989 vacant properties (not including those that were exempt) in 2018, that’s down 22% from last year when the tax punished 2538 homeowners.

Number of homes declared empty.

When we break the results down further, we can see the largest number of empty homes were concentrated in the Downtown core. There were 1453 vacant and exempt properties in Downtown Vancouver. A good chunk of those units were exempt due to strata bylaws which restrict rentals. No surprise there.

Also not surprising to see that the Shaughnessy neighbourhood had the highest percentage of empty homes at 7% of the neighbourhoods total housing stock. Probably still a conservative number if you take a hard look around.

Percentage of empty homes by neighbourhood

It’s hard to say how much of an impact the empty homes tax is having, the results seem mediocre at best. However, the city, which is grappling with an extremely low vacancy rate hovering near 1%, found the number of properties deemed tenanted jumped by 7% year-over-year. My conversations with property management companies in the city also suggest the rental market has softened, particularly for detached houses. This is welcoming news after several years of double digit rent price growth.

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The Canadian Economy

Steve Saretsky -

Happy Monday Morning! We got a string of new data this past week confirming inflation in consumer goods, and housing are proving to be more than transitory. Canada’s consumer price index continued to drift higher with prices hitting an 18 year high, up 4.7% from last October. The recent floods in BC...

Steve Saretsky -

The calls for impending interest rate hikes continues. CIBC’s chief economist, Benjamin Tal, was out recently suggesting the Bank of Canada could hike its benchmark interest rate at least six times beginning in early 2022. “I think there is a risk of getting into the market at today’s rates,” noted Tal....

Steve Saretsky -

The BC Government announced it is looking at several cooling measures for the housing market in 2022. They have highlighted two measures. The first is an end to the blind bidding process, and the other is a mandatory “cooling off period” which will allow any buyer a 7 day recession...

Steve Saretsky -

The Bank of Canada continues to slowly drain liquidity after flooding the system with a firehose of cash during the pandemic. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem announced the end of Canada’s QE program (also known as money printing). Furthermore, in Macklems words, “We expect to begin increasing our policy...

Steve Saretsky -

Consumer price inflation ripped higher in September, surging 4.4% year-over-year, the fastest pace of price increases in 18 years. Let’s discuss this further. We have an inflation problem and the Bank of Canada remains of the view that inflation will be transitory. Although they really can’t say otherwise, for if...

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The Saretsky Report. December 2022