Vancouver, B.C. real estate prices sky-rocket

A Vancouver report has revealed that more than 5% of homes in the city are not occupied and are left empty by the citizens or by foreign owners. The non-occupancy rate and the skyrocketing home prices do not have any correlation.

Single-family homes have been purchased by foreign buyers for investment purposes and have been left empty. The vacancy rate for duplexes and row houses is only 1%, and has been at 1% since 2002. The vacancy rate for condominiums and the purpose-built apartments is 7.2%. Vancouver’s overall occupancy rate in 2014 was 7.4% (houses and apartments).

Many home buyers and renters have left properties empty, reducing the supply of homes, which has led to skyrocketing home prices. The Finance Minister stated that 91% of the property owners are eligible to claim on their annual property tax bills and also added that the seniors are facing higher costs. The government has tax deferment programs to help them. Homeowners who have property worth above a specified amount are still eligible to get a grant from the government.

Vancouver Mayor stated that, in the last statistics, there was a huge difference between the house property values and income of middle class buyers. The prices of townhouses and apartments have been rising slowly. Recent reports indicate that the assessed values of urban homes in Metro Vancouver has risen from 15% to 30% and assessed property in the other areas of the city has also increased over the years.