Canada proposes taxes on empty houses and vacant land
The interesting thing about the house price crisis is the determination of the media to ignore the real cause. Which is of course excessive out of control immigration as encouraged by the liberal left governments citizens have misguidedly voted into power over the last few decades in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Excessive immigration led to a shortage of houses, and investors of course capitalized on the shortage, leading to a run in prices. The problem is not rocket science, or though many in the media/ political class would have you believe it is.
Govts pretend they’ve got remedies for rising prices but they haven’t, as only time will fix it, and then only if population growth levels off. Its just a practical impossibility for most of these countries, NZ especially, to build houses fast enough to catch up to demand.
They don’t have the skilled manpower, they don’t have the materials, and in most cases, because of a massive growth in the new religion of environmentalism, they don’t have a regulatory framework that allows it. These problems will be exacerbated if immigration continues as is likely.
In an act typical of today’s political cynicism, the present Canadian minority PM Justin Trudeau called a snap election while the polls gave him a lead. Mainly as a result of the public’s perception that he has handled the Covid-19 crisis well.
A major part of his re-election campaign are his promises to bring down rocketing house prices. The measures Mr Trudeau proposes to achieve this objective include-
- a ban on all foreigners buyers for two years
- a 1% tax on vacant or underused foreign-owned houses
- an eventual expansion of that tax to cover vacant land in large urban areas
Other parties in Canada have jumped on the bandwagon. The New Democratic Party is proposing a 20% tax on foreign buyers while the Conservative Party agrees with the ban on foreigners.
NZ has had laws restricting overseas purchases since 2018. However there are no taxes on empty houses and vacant land. Of course its not a given that every New Zealand citizen wants house prices to fall. Many Labour MPs for example have investments in real estate. Including the PM herself.
Will Jacinda do as her soul mate Justin has done? Who knows. Maybe a poll will decide the issue. Given the huge number of empty houses in our larger cities though, its odds on the taxes Trudeau is proposing in Canada will eventually come to New Zealand.